In CAPA they expect a season similar to last year's. "If there is a lot of illex outside, prices would go down and it will not be useful to get the fishing boats out," said Juan Redini, president of the chamber of shipowners.
Almost a month after the start of the 2020 squid harvest, perspectives begin to flourish for a season that will activate between 65 and 68 national-flagged vessels that will sail in search of the illex.
YouTube: take a look of how an argentinean jigging fishing vessel works at night
From CAPA, the chamber that groups companies of jiggers shipowners, expect a harvest similar to that of last year, while they regretted not having more scientific data than the survey conducted four months ago.
“We expect something similar to what it was this year. We would need to have more current scientific data, more about the opening of the fishing area to have greater certainties,” said Juan Redini, president of the chamber.
“We ended the year with almost 94,000 tons, 13% less than in 2018, and there is no indication that the situation has improved. We fish three months and we have to live twelve; it becomes very difficult,” acknowledged the owner of the Villarino.
Redini said that these days they are more aware of what happens outside the exclusive economic zone. “We have to see what happens outside with the first ships that arrived in the fishing zone. If there is resource, prices will go down and we are complicated. Until now, the equation was maintained because, having not fished outside, prices improved.”
In that sense, the shipowner acknowledged that if there was resource outside mile 200, “it would not be worth taking the boats to fish because the labor costs we face are very different from the foreign fleet. Downloading a jigging vessel in Argentine ports costs 2.5 times more than doing it in Vigo,” he said.
Squid Illex whole in block and clean tube IQF
Of the total landed, 92% is exported whole, without complying with the on-land reprocessing established by national legislation. “They are small specimens, mostly S and SS already mature and they will don't grow anymore. We can't make tubes with this raw material. Today you have a higher production yield making whole. For years we have not fished the southern stock where there were 500 gram specimens. There the majority made tubes with good tentacles as well”, said the president of CAPA.
Asian jigging fleet anchored in the port of Montevideo awaiting the start of the squid season. These ships operate out of 200 miles of the Argentine EEZ.
On the approach that Chubut made to service the foreign fleet that operates on mile 201 in provincial ports, Redini was blunt. “It would be crazy to enable them to use the national port infrastructure because it would imply express recognition and consent to their presence in the area, when they have shown that they do not respect the rights and interests of the country or its institutions and that they incur in illegal fishing in waters jurisdictional of our EEZ,” explained the leader.