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.
While the Spanish fleet of fishing vessels, many of them partners of Falkland Islands companies have started leaving Vigo for the South Atlantic to begin the Loligo season on 24 February, Argentine licensed jiggers operating south of parallel 44 have been catching some 25 tons per day per vessel of Illex, according to the first reports from Pescare.com.ar.
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.
Falkland Islands Director of National Resources, John Barton, reported that after a slow start, fishery catches were beginning to pick up: trawlers had started operating and there were only a few jiggers still to collect their licenses.
Spanish trawlers involved in the Loligo squid catching season in the Falkland Islands are hoping that this year the operation will evolve with “no incidents”, recalling that the previous season was abruptly stopped because of accidental deaths of sea mammals caught in nets.
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.
The Falkland Islands second Loligo squid season has taken with very good catches, but good catches also means abundance of the cephalopodus, and... of those sea mammals that feed on them. Because of this a temporary exclusion zone around Beauchene Island was put in place on Thursday making this productive area for Loligo squid out of bounds to fishing vessels.
Manuela Mendez from the port of Corme, in Galicia, north-west Spain, is believed to be the first female officer in the Falklands' fishing fleet. The Second Mate arrived in Stanley harbor this week. After five years training in merchant shipping and a year on board another fishing vessel, Ms. Mendez joined the crew of Falkland’s trawler, New Polar, last year and is making her second trip to Falklands’ waters.
Concerns about tariffs on Falklands exports post Brexit, and political consequences were outlined by a Falklands' representative giving evidence to a House of Lords committee (the European Union Select Committee) last Tuesday.