Falklands' fishing company Fortuna Ltd and their Taiwanese partners Go-Rising exhibited at the Brussels seafood show last week.
Fortuna Ltd and Go-Rising have worked together in the Illex fishing business for many years but on this occasion the purpose was to explore the European market for Illex squid and establish a basis for the partners to work with vessel owners to open new markets and distribute Falklands-caught product together.
Brussels show is the largest seafood-dedicated trade event in the world. More than 30,000 buyers, suppliers, media and other industry professionals from over 150 countries attended the event.
Traditionally, the majority of Illex products processed on board jiggers in Falklands waters is destined for Asian markets but as the global markets for cephalopods change there are opportunities for well positioned operators to capture new value.
In 2015 Fortuna purchased a significant shareholding in Loligo Seafood SA, one of largest distributors and processors of squid products in Europe.
Although Falklands catches of Illex in the 2019 season were low, a number of European distribution channels are emerging that possess the right characteristics to take advantage of larger volumes.
Illex is a migratory species, catches in the Falklands zone are highly variable, but in a high catching year the Islands' container service South American Atlantic Service (SAAS) combined with a well-established distribution network in Europe, specialized in frozen squid products, is an encouraging proposition for buyers competing in what can be a highly competitive marketplace.
As with squid, It’s a matter of getting things lined up for when the time is right, said James Wallace, Director of Fortuna Ltd.