The impact of COVID-19 on the seafood market and industry operations has been severe, confirmed fishing industry executives and a spokesperson for the Falkland Islands Fishing Companies Association (FIFCA).
Falkland Islands fishing company representatives led by Stuart Wallace of Fortuna Ltd condemned the 50% rise in toothfish and calamari fishery fees at the Fisheries Committee meeting.
Falkland Islands' catches for calamari squid and hake have risen substantially over five years. Statistics were outlined at Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
The Falkland Islands will add to its registered fleet a state of the art trawler which should be operational by 2021 belonging to a local joint venture company, Petrel Fishing Company Ltd. In early 2019, the Board of Fortuna Ltd approved the construction of a new trawler to join their current fleet of five trawlers. The vessel will be owned and operated by Fortuna Joint Venture Company - “Petrel Fishing Company Ltd”.
The Falkland Islands calamari, Loligo, season has been one of the best in recent years with catches totaling some 78.913,81 tons, which represents a 25% over the previous season, according to reports in the Galician media, and confirmed by the Islands Natural Resources Department.
The Falkland Islands' total catch of the loligo squid, or Falklands' calamari, in the first season of 2018 was 43,085 tons, which compares very favorably to first-season catches over the last five years.
Recent reports in trade journals that abundant catches during 2017 were depressing Falkland Islands loligo prices were challenged this week by local sources concerned with the fishing industry.
Falkland Islands Senior Fisheries Scientist Dr Alexander Arkhipkin explains the habits of fur seals and the efforts undertaken to reduce by-catch in the Loligo fishery. Stocks of Falkland calamari (Loligo) are very prolific this year.
Falklands calamari squid catches in the Falkland Islands have been good this season reports Director of Natural Resources John Barton, and this is particularly good news bearing in mind Illex catches have been “pretty mediocre,” so far.
The Falkland Islands has decided to hold fee levels across all fishing licenses for 2017 as part of a long term policy focus and in view of certain circumstances emerging from the volatility of annual catches. The Executive Council (ExCo) agreed on the decision by a majority at its last meeting extensive to all license types, including Illex, the Islands main catch.