The Maritime Front Joint Technical Commission (CTMFM) has set the summer ban for common hake (Merluccius hubbsi) in the common fishing zone (CFZ) shared by Argentina and Uruguay, between 1 January and 31 march 2007.
The measure, established under Resolution 9/06, published in the Official Gazette, is aimed at protecting the hake juveniles and help with their conservation and rational exploitation. In fact, the new rule extends the ban area that had been set for spring under the previous Resolution 8/06 "until the new coordinates are determined based on the results obtained in a coming joint research campaign to be carried out in January 2007. The ban zone is limited by: a) 35Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°50' S - 53Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°50' W b) 35Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°50' S - 52Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°50' W c) 37Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°30' S - 55Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°00' W d) 37Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°30' S - 55Ãâ€šÃ‚Â°50' The efficacy of the seasonal bans, however, raises some doubts in the national scientific field, given that the status of fisheries in the north is critical. Hake stock shows a general decline, with the reproductive biomass being below the limit value and a high variability in the recruitment. "The seasonal bans in the CFZ have not been enough to meet the expected goal, which is protecting the juveniles," reads the Technical Report 39/06, by the National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP). The report adds that the high mortality rates have not allowed the total recovery of the breeding stock," in spite of the good recruitment estimated in 2004." INIDEP experts deem necessary to implement protection areas for the smaller generations during winter and for the breeders during fall-winter. According to preliminar figures provided by the Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Secretariat (SAGPyA), between 1 January and 1 December 2006, 320,551.3 tonnes of common hake were landed in the ports of the Argentinean Atlantic coast. (FIS)