The first season of the two loligo (Falklands calamari) seasons of 2019 closed with total catches of 51,000 tonnes, a 10,000 increase on the first season of 2018 and less than 30,000 tonnes short of the total for both 2018 seasons, 78,913 tonnes.
Speaking to Galician news- paper, Faro de Vigo Director of Natural resources John Barton said that the illex season had been relatively poor, with total catch- es of little over 40,000 tonnes. The poor catches, he said, have caused many jiggers to leave the zone. Catches have been equally poor on the high seas, leading to an exodus of Chinese vessels to the Pacific. Mr Barton noted that while illex catches were better in the Argentine zone, in general they have been poor.
The Galician daily quotes owner sources as saying that the bumper loligo season could lead to price fluctuations.
However, the same sources also note that whereas traditional markets were Europe-based, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia or France, “new markets with huge potential are increasingly open- ing up, including South Africa, the US, or China, which has been picking up pace for the last two years.”
The season also served to pro- vide assurance that the seal ex- cluding devices employed to re- duce seal by-catch had no impact on catches of loligo, Mr Barton told the paper.