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Fisheries News.

Wednesday, August 25th 2004 - 21:00 UTC
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Scientists forecast poor squid season in 2005; Mid-water hoki trawling has been authorised; Satellite control system in Tierra del Fuego.

Scientists forecast poor squid season in 2005

The poor results of this year's Argentine short-fin squid (Illex argentinus) season in the South Atlantic could extend to the 2005 campaign according to a report submitted by the National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP) to the Argentine Federal Fisheries Council (CFP). The document contains the final assessment of this year's squid fisheries development and states that there is a high probability that squid recruitment could be "null or very low" in 2005. The report includes the south-Patagonian, (south to parallel 44º S) and the north-Patagonian (north to parallel 44º S) stocks. The INIDEP assessment was performed between January and June 9 this year in Falkland Islands waters and Argentina's EEZ, where scientists observed that "the 2004 season's recruitment was almost nill." Since estimates forecast a similar situation for 2005 the report defines strategies for resource conservation. Among them it suggests a ban extending from December 15 to January 31 in the Southern Unit of Management. It also highlights the importance of initiating the 2005 season working on the summer spawning stock, and waiting for the results of the February campaign to begin efforts on the south-Patagonian stock. In the sector located to the north of parallel 44º S, special importance is given to the study of pre-recruit assessments to be carried out between January 1 and 20 of 2005. This will allow determining accurately the status of the north-Patagonian stock. INIDEP also proposes observers on fishing vessels and encourages private sector collaboration to help with sampling in order to closely watch the evolution of the resource. (FIS/MP).-

Mid-water hoki trawling has been authorised.

Following the results of a two year long research Chilean authorities have authorized mid-water hoki trawling. Fisheries regional director, Sigisfredo Scheuermann, announced that in a few days a fishing quota for mid-water hoki industrial trawling will become effective, decision which is considered a turning point in the history of the fishery. The two year South Pacific research from the Catholic University of Valparaiso reached the conclusion that the influence of trawling on the resource and other species is minimum provided certain rules are enforced and the adequate detection equipment is used. Licences to be awarded will be subject to certain restrictions: trawling along a strip of 300-metres deep within a 60-marine mile area; fishing companies must provide transportation and expenses for an onboard observer or biologist to supervise catches: and they would have to posses fishing permits for hoki as well as for South Pacific hake. Mr. Scheuermann defended the official decision in spite of the skepticism expressed by the coastal fishing representatives regarding the dubious choice of mid-water trawling. "There are enough instruments and knowledge to prevent the fishery of South Pacific hake" said the official emphasizing all decisions are based on sound research and regulations allow for the implementation of necessary controls. (FIS/MP).-

Satellite control system in Tierra del Fuego.

Argentine Tierra del Fuego provincial government announced last week the launching of a new satellite monitoring programme to facilitate enhanced control of illegal fishing activities as well as logistic support to the Argentine Coast Guard rescue operations. The announcement was made by provincial minister of Production and Natural Resources, Marcelo Morandi and the director of the Computer Department from INIDEP Juan Buono who provided details on the implementation and operation of the system. The new system consists of a software package developed by the INIDEP Computer Center based on a Geographic Information System (GIS) associated with satellite information, which allows for real-time voyage monitoring on each licenced vessel. Monitoring is carried out by means of a sensor on board each vessel connected to a GPS, which transmits the vessel position to a satellite at one-hour intervals. Besides having the necessary equipment, owners of authorised vessels must hire a satellite communications service which will retransmit the data to the SSPys Control Center and to websites belonging to registered vendors. Information includes equipment identification, license number and the vessel's name, date and time of registration, position and where it is destined expressed in degrees, minutes and hundredths of a minute. Minister Morandi publicly thanked INIDEP for the software and staff training, pointing out its value within the framework of an official policy "aimed at looking after natural resources" Mr. Morandi added that Tierra del Fuego has requested Buenos Aires federal authorities to "toughen sanctions" for breach of sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources. The minister also referred to the precarious situation of the Patagonian toothfish, saying that "commissions evaluating toothfish landings have required the presence of provincial inspectors" since this resource is particularly threatened by illegal fishing. (FIS/MP).-

Categories: Mercosur.

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