The Falkland Islands Government (FIG) is closely monitoring the situation of the stranded M/V Uruguay Reefer and has been in contact with the vessel operators to impress upon them the need to find a solution which avoids the vessel sinking in Falkland Island Conservation Zones.
On October 29 1986, a proclamation declaring the Interim Falklands Conservation Zone was signed by Governor Gordon Jewkes. The zone had a 160-nauticalmile (300 km; 180 mi) radius. On February 1, 1987 the Falkland Islands Fisheries (Conservation and Management) Ordinance came in to effect.
The Loligo squid season took off this weekend in the Falkland Islands and the Galician partners of local companies are hopeful that they can repeat catches of the last season when some 46.000 tons were landed. The experimental sampling previous to the official launching points to stability, according to Javier Touza president of ARVI, the Vigo cooperative of vessel owners.
In the last 25 years, the squid fishery has been one of the major contributors to the economy of the Falkland Islands. It is unique in the world as about 80 per cent of the total annual catch is squid. Both Illex and Loligo squid have annual life cycles, with a new generation recruiting into the fishery every year
The Falkland Islands Government has welcomed the announcement by the Senate of Argentina of the establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) within the area of Burdwood Bank which lies within the Argentine Economic Zone, describing it as a “positive step” in the interest of marine conservation and fisheries management.
The announcement this week that the catches for the first loligo season for 2012 totaled 34,900 metric tones, equal to more than the entire catch for 2011, coincides with the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Falkland Island fishery.
VESSELS fishing for the squid species Illex argentinus in Falklands waters have been reporting poor catches of around two and five ton per day so far this season, confirmed Falkland Islands Fisheries Scientist Alexander Arkhipkin.