Falkland Islands license fees for the 2008 Illex squid season will remain at 2007 levels. The decision was confirmed during the August meeting of the Falklands' Executive Council in spite of the fact that 2007 has proved one of the best years on record in terms of level catches.
However the "it was disappointing to see subsequent negative effects on market prices such that in order to achieve the 10% fee/revenue ratio license, fees will need to remain at 2007 levels". The Falklands Illex catch in the 2007 season reached 161.500 tons, the highest annual catch since 2000, and in terms of catch per vessel per day, season 2007 was the best season ever. In the last twenty years Falklands' Illex catches have undergone wide fluctuations linked to increased environmental variability in the Southwest Atlantic and heavy commercial fishing. The fishery peaked in 1999 with a record catch of 266.000 tons but later collapsed to bottom rock numbers, representing a severe blow for the Islands' finances. The Illex 2007 season began on 15 February with only 1-2 jiggers fishing and by the end of February, 53 jiggers were operating, all of them in the northwest of Falkland Inner Conservation Zone (FICZ). The Falklands season ended on 15 June. Reference to the quantity of Illex squid available in the South West Atlantic this year was made by Dr. Andrea Clausen, the member of the Falkland Islands Legislative Council holding the Fisheries portfolio, during this year's Budget Session. Dr. Clausen said that it had been reassuring this year to see Illex back in such high quantities, but disappointing, that the Falkland Islands seemed further away than ever from resolving issues of co-operation with their neighbours on this valuable fisheries resource. "Unfortunately these high volumes of catch have a bad impact on market prices. For both conservation and commercial reasons, it is sensible to operate in a climate of sustained lower-level catches. It is interesting that fishermen in Argentina are bemoaning the fact that the markets are flooded and that the abundance of Illex is resulting in falling prices and some of them facing bankruptcy. There is, and always has been, a solution to this dilemma, which is consistent with International Law and that is the establishment of a regional fisheries management organization, which can objectively look to the sustainable management of the South-West Atlantic Illex resource. So long as this does not exist and the Argentine Government continues to ignore the situation, there will be both commercial and environmental repercussions."