The fleet of trawlers from Vigo. Spain operating in the Falkland Islands waters are most enthusiastic about the current second squid season and believe Loligo landings already totaling 72,200 tons according to records from Falklands' Natural Resources Department could anticipate, if catch rates continue, a record similar to that of the best year back in 1995, with 98,409 tons.
Usually the first Loligo season marks what can be expected from the second. If very good, the second is not bad but always less, and this was the indication at the start of this year with 58,000 tons, but surprisingly the tendency is for catches to keep increasing.
We're on the right track marked by the first season, according to optimistic vessel owners in Vigo, --as reported by El Faro de Vigo--, who also point to the absence of Covid 19 cases, which plagued the Spanish vessels in the first half of the year.
In effect Loligo catches have increased sustainedly for four years until the pandemic of 2020, when there was a slight drop totaling 60,737 tons. But this 2021 second season when catches have been above those of last year, and there is still a month and a half ahead of activity, despite the terrible weather at sea, the reference volume has become 2019, with 80,334 tons, the highest this century so far.
That year and that landing are the references underline companies in Vigo. However if medium catches continue at the current level, the record of 1995 could be at reach, or even above. That year records show that almost 100,000 tons of Loligo were landed.
But despite optimism, Vigo companies also point out that with the recent European Union tariff exoneration capped at 75,000 tons, a higher catch volume becomes a problem. That is because the main client for Falklands squid is/was the EU, and since all the tariff and quota benefits the Islands enjoyed fell through because British Overseas Territories were not included in the post Brexit UK/EU arrangements, the Vigo fisheries industry faces a new challenge, concludes El Faro de Vigo.