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Still different views on Falklands Loligo Bio-economic Report

Thursday, September 21st 2006 - 21:00 UTC
Full article

The September meeting of the Falkland Islands Government's Fisheries Committee, held last Friday, considered a paper produced jointly by the Fisheries Department and the Loligo Producers Group (LPG) on the recommendations of a bio-economic report on the Falklands Loligo fishery.

The Bio-economic Report, originally produced over a year ago, has yet to be considered by Executive Council, the Islands' Upper House and was the subject of considerable debate among members of the Fisheries Committee when presented to the July meeting.

Broadly speaking, the report attempts to consider the scientific options available to the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department in their annual attempts to predict and prescribe catch levels for the squid species, Loligo, which will be consistent with the long-term preservation of the stock.

Related to this effort is the second principal objective of the Report, which is to provide a better model for the setting of licence fees to vessels operating within the Loligo fishery.

The Director of Fisheries, for the Falkland Island Government, John Barton, said of the recommendations from both his department and the industry that they fell into two broad categories: biological and economic.

A degree of consensus had been reached on the biological section, where it was agreed that recent research projects had produced a better understanding of some of the issues, though it was recognised that accurate forecasting of recruitment was still some way off.

Much less agreement had been reached on some of the Report's economic and financial recommendations, reflecting the greater divergence of interests between the public and private sectors.

Speaking to Penguin News, the Committee Chairperson, Councillor Dr Andrea Clausen, said that a particular focus of disagreement was the period during which the Bio-Economic Report's statistical data had been gathered. The feeling of the LPG was that the period around 2001 had been particularly volatile and therefore unrepresentative.

Councillor Clausen has asked that a further short paper be prepared for ExCo, setting out the conclusions reached on the report.

John Fowler (Mercopress) Stanley

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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