Falkland Islands have experienced an extraordinary Loligo year with catches reaching 101,073 tons in the two season, 54,417 in the first and 43,216 in the second. However great volumes also have their shortcomings, particularly since Falklands' fishing industry this year has had to face dearer fuel and transport costs, and not all the catch has been sold.
According to Dr Andrea Clausen, Director of Natural Resources, Falkland Islands Government, the first Loligo season with 56,417 tons was the highest since 2021, despite voluntary closures to avoid small squid that where in abundance in the south. Overall the biomass remained high throughout the season.
The second season with 43,216 tons, the highest ever, a record, with a Catch Per Unit Effort of 44 tons per day, also outstanding since it was the highest second season CPUE ever.
It must be noted that the season involved 16 vessels, fishing for 64 days in each season.
Overall, including pre-recruit surveys and by-catch the total catch for Loligo for 2022 reached 101,073 tons (the highest since 1989, when 118,721mt was caught by 55 vessels)
But although most of the catch has returned to Spain, not all of it has been sold, even when market prices were holding up well at midyear.
The fact is that with the war in Ukraine, of which the Falklands fishing industry is not immune, return margins and a steady demand are threatened because of higher than usual fuel prices (bunkers have doubled in the past 12 months) and transport costs
Finally it must be remembered that tariffs have been collected on all Falklands' fisheries products during 2021 (the first year since transition out of Brexit ended) with a total of €14.7m paid for imports of circa 86,000mt of FI products, mostly dominated by Loligo imports, with a repeat anticipated for 2022.
Dr. Clausen also mentioned that the implementation of ITQB (the new system of Individual Transferable Quota) is almost complete and will be operational from 1st January 2023.