Argentina's Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Secretariat, SAGP y A, established a total 2007 allowable catch, TAC, of 340.000 tons of common hake (Merluccius hubbsi) which is 10.5% lower than last year's TAC of 380.000 tons.
The decision was taken to "preserve the resource, to sustain the global operating capacity of the fleet and to consolidate working possibilities" explained SAGPyA . Of the total amount of Argentine TAC hake settled for 2007, 11.000 tons were assigned to the Buenos Aires province as a social quota, 2.000 tons less than in 2006. The province of Chubut was granted 10.600 tons (1.600 tons less than the last year); the province of Santa Cruz, 5.900 tons (900 tons less), and the province of Rio Negro, 1.500 tons (500 tons less). According to SAGPyA Resolution 920/06 from December 26, published in the Official Bulletin, 137 fishing vessels have been authorized to catch common hake to the north and south of parallel 41Ãâ€šÃ‚ÂºS as of 1 January to 31 December, 2007. Likewise, 39 vessels are authorized to fish this species south of parallel 41Ãâ€šÃ‚ÂºS, until the TAC limit is settled. In order to secure the sustainability of the fishery "it is necessary to reduce fishing activities by cutting the fleet's fishing days", and doubling the length of the biological stops applied to both fresh fish and freezer vessels. Fresh fish vessels are to comply with a 40 day-stop, which could be divided into five periods of eight days minimum. As for the freezer vessels, they will have to comply with a 60 day-stop which could be divided into four periods of no less than fifteen days each. Catch quotas granted quarterly to each fishing vessel may be transferred to another vessel similarly licensed during the same period, according to the conditions settled in the resolution. The measures of this resolution do not apply to vessels authorised to catch Patagonian scallop (Zygochlamys patagonica) and shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri). Meanwhile, during the period of the resolution's enforcement, vessels equipped with surimi producing plants will be allowed to fish in marine areas located south of parallel 49Ãâ€šÃ‚ÂºS. (FIS)