A significant decline in catches of squid (Illex argentinus) in Argentine waters at the end of the season, has forced the return to port of several Argentine flagged jiggers, according to a report this week from the country's Coast Guard station in Mar del Plata.
The returning six vessels were identified as: Estrella 5, Abrumasa XXVII, Millenium, Hoyo Maru 37, Xin Shi Ji 18 and Estrella 6.
However the squid season extending from January first to 13 June was considered positive with landings reaching 133.087 tons.
However a source from Pescare, a fisheries publication said that the decline in late catches and low prices for squid have discouraged jiggers from continuing operations, so it can be said the season is coming to an end.
Argentina's Directorate of Fisheries Economy also revealed prices during the month of April, which averaged 1,392 dollars per ton with a 23.5% decrease from a year ago. Whole squid (between 300 and 500 grams) was paid between 1,200 and 1,400 dollars, while tubes reached between 1,700 and 2,100 dollars.
Argentina's Under Secretariat of Fisheries Office indicated that out of total landings to 13 June, jigger vessels contributed 120,928 tons. Likewise large-scale vessels in charge of fresh fish unloaded 4,713 tons; and freezer trawlers landed 7,154 tons.
Mar del Plata led with landings of 59,264.4 tons, followed by Puerto Deseado (42,482.6 tons); Puerto Madryn (28,258 tons) and Caleta Paula (2,984.3 tons), among other ports. This compares with the volumes of a year ago, from January first to 30 May, with 142.083 tons of squid. (FIS).-