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Falklands’ Illex: one good season does not transform an industry

Friday, August 12th 2011 - 17:29 UTC
Full article 8 comments
John Barton, Falklands Director of Fisheries, a ‘reasonable’ catch of 80.000 tons  John Barton, Falklands Director of Fisheries, a ‘reasonable’ catch of 80.000 tons

Despite a relatively buoyant 2011 Illex fishing season and “some optimism for the future,” one jigging company went out of business and others had problems finding the funds to pay licence fees said The Falkland Islands Director of Fisheries John Barton.

He indicated the lesson was that one good season did not transform an industry and this was one reason why it was decided to keep licence fees the same as last year.
The 2011 fishery was reasonable, added Mr Barton, with almost 80,000 tonnes of Illex being taken.

“License uptake was good with some 92 jiggers involved from Korea and Taiwan”, said Barton. “It is believed that the access conditions and the clear refund policy played a part in the strong interest in licences.”

As reported in Penguin News previously, while catches did not reach the threshold catch level which would dictate no refund, adjusting for the value of the catch ruled out any refund.

Illex is one of the few fisheries yet to enter the ITQ* system. At present the Falkland Islands Plan indicates that there should be consultation on options for introducing Illex to the ITQ system in 2012/13, with further work being done in 2013/14 and the fishery ideally converting to ITQ in 2014/15.

There are no immediate plans to change that timetable at present, said Mr Barton, however, at the Fisheries Committee meeting on August 10 there was some discussion with regard to “beginning a dialogue” on the subject.

Stuart Wallace, Director of Fortuna Ltd said: “It is a complicated matter but we could be discussing it - we could talk it through – it may be too difficult, but we won’t know that without trying.”

Mr Barton noted that Illex seasons were very unpredictable and a bad season could often be predicted early, as a result sometimes there was no real competition for licences.

He said this might cause complications, adding that a system would also be required for refunds in poor seasons. Whatever was decided upon would have to be attractive to all Mr Barton emphasised.
He added, however, that he would be willing to accept proposals on the matter.

(*) The Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) system allows local companies to buy long term rights to fishing quota. The system was introduced to encourage confidence to invest in the industry.


Top Comments

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  • Redhoyt

    Would have been better if not for Argentine incompetence !

    Aug 13th, 2011 - 06:51 am 0
  • lsolde

    A lot of things would be better but for Argentine incompetence( & bloody-mindedness!).

    Aug 13th, 2011 - 09:49 am 0
  • malen

    To Míster Banana Red Hot and squidmillonaires
    “Based on these figures it would seem that allowing UNASUR and S:African nations to take charge of south atlantic and its resources would be a little putting the asylum into the care of residents”
    This article and its cynical way its written shows us:
    1) UK with its BOT doesnt want to sign peace treaties (Peace zone in south atlantic signed by south african countries and south american countries) you dont go for peace.
    2) You are saying that the real countries involved in south atlantic because they are bordering it cant be in charge of its own resources??
    oh nooooooooo, the residents cant be in charge of the assylum???
    we need the expertise of Uk stealers they know how to get in charge of OTHERS resources
    the resources of SA whether you like it or not its a matter of the countries residing near them not of foreign countries that has nothing to do or say and of international organization that regulate this. these countries makes agreement on fishering and peace and whatever we like.
    3) Arg economy not depends on fishing, Malvinas exclusively depends on fishering. Thats the reason you have increased sea zone of Malvinas islands, from 12 miles, to 150 miles. You gave 25 years licences of fishering.
    Go to sell green bananas to monkeys, not to us.

    Aug 13th, 2011 - 04:43 pm 0
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