The Falkland Islands Government has announced the appointment of Dr Andrea Clausen as the new Director of Natural Resources. Andrea is due to take up her post in October 2019 and will be working with John Barton to ensure that there is a unified approach to the handover of duties across the agriculture, fisheries and veterinary departments. This appointment comes following a comprehensive search and selection process.
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.
The Illex squid fishery season starts on February 14 and 105 licenses have been offered confirmed Director of Natural Resources John Barton. He added: “Not all vessels which applied received licenses. The number of licenses offered is the same as the last few years.”
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 Director of Natural Resources John Barton confirmed this week that exchange of fisheries data will resume “in short order” following the resumption of fisheries talks with Argentina last month. Mr. Barton confirmed that proposals for joint research cruises are being drawn up and another meeting has been scheduled to take place in London in late 2018.
Moving the Illex fishery into the ITQ system and improved catch verification requirements are among the recommendations made by an independent review of the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) system published by the Falkland Islands government, FIG, this week.
The Falkland Islands has been positive about the outcome of the first round of fishery talks (May 14/15) referred to the South Atlantic, between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The talks in Buenos Aires, with Falklands representatives included in the UK delegation, emphasized on the exchange of scientific information and conservation of shared fishery resources in the South West Atlantic.
Earlier this week Mercopress announced that a delegation from the Falkland Islands will be joining the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Argentina next week to discuss fisheries data exchange. This announcement comes shortly after a successful visit to the Brussels Seafood Show, where the important access of continued market access post-Brexit was discussed with partners by Falkland Islands fishing companies.
Next Monday, 14 May 2018 four representatives from the Falkland Islands Government’s Natural Resources Department will be part of a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office lead delegation meeting with the Government of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, to begin two days of discussions on fish and squid stocks in the South Atlantic, and the possibility of resuming the exchange of scientific fisheries data for the benefit of the region.
Exchanges of information between the Falkland Islands and Argentina about fish and squid stocks could begin again before the middle of this year, if all parties are in agreement. Director of Natural Resources John Barton said: “Dialogue with Argentina on the conservation of shared marine resources has the potential to allow for better management of shared fish stocks and improve sustainability of such stocks.”