The 2019 squid season in Argentina took off with very good weekly yields, and average catches per vessel of 34.6 tons/day during the first seven weeks of operations south of the 44th parallel.
This allowed the total Illex catch to reach 50,195 tons, a volume similar to the one registered in this same period of 2018. The jiggers fleet contributed 47,947 tons, through the participation of 62 vessels; while trawlers contributed with 2,248 tons.
However, as of week 5 a decreasing trend of catches has been observed, dropping from 36 to 29 tons/day.
The data comes from the official technical report Squid. Pesquería 2019. Situation Report to February 18 and which Pescare.co-m.ar released. The work is part of the monitoring done by scientists on the subpopulations of the species.
In related news it was estimated that in the Adjacent Area to the Exclusive Economic Zone of Argentina (EEZ), south of 44°S, some 285 jiggers are operating. The picture refers more specifically to quadrant 4660 on week 6.
However unofficial information, according to Argentine sources, catches of the foreign fleet remained low. This encourages local ship owners to confirm the initiative to have started the season earlier on January 7.
Regarding the activity within Argentina's EEZ, the report indicates it concentrated on the intermediate platform, between parallels 45°/48°S. The largest catches were obtained in quadrant 4662. Until mid-February, 54 jiggers were still in that area with a good level of catches.
The lengths of squid caught was between 14 and 30 cm LM (LM average = 211 mm, PT medium = 189 g) and both sexes were mostly in advanced maturity / reproduction / postproduction (EM V-VIII), which allowed them to be identified as corresponding to the Summer Spawning Stock (SDV). I Argentina's fisheries research institute, Inidep they pointed out that observers on board vessels were available to take samples representing a total of 21,282 squids. (FIS).