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Image: Revista Puerto / FIS

Hake may determine the closing of the shrimp season

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Friday, September 22, 2023, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The reproductive process of the hubbsi hake seems to have begun and the increase in bycatch in catches is beginning to be very high. On the other hand, in some subareas the presence of small shrimp has reached the established limit. Although there are open areas so that the double rig fleet can finish the tide, the closure would be imminent.

The fleet is mainly concentrated in subareas 13 and 7 from where news comes of an increase in the presence of small shrimp in the catches and a high presence of hake byctach, so the soon closure of these subareas is expected. In others, where some ships operate, such as the 18 and the outer edge of the 5, the yields are good, within what was expected at this time of the year; but hake is present throughout the Closed Area where the season takes place.

Source: Stockfile FIS

The Federal Fisheries Council met and the topic of discussion was the closing date. The freezer fleet hopes that it can be extended a few more days to end the tide, but until the last minute no decision had been made.

Until September 12, 150 thousand tons had been landed, a figure that compared to 2022 does not reflect what happened during the season in national waters within the Closed Area, given that the difference is only 5% with the same period of the year. past. Meanwhile, the freezing fleet shows a drop of between 30 and 40% compared to historical values.

Source: Stockfile FIS

As we have already mentioned in other articles, the deep-sea freshwater fleet and the freezer beam boats are the ones who have suffered the impact of the dispersion of the resource and the inclement weather that has defined this harvest. Due to the dispersion, it was very difficult to find significant concentrations and when one was found the entire fleet concentrated on the mark, consuming it in a short time.

To this must be added the large number of storms of strong winds of greater intensity than usual, probably as a consequence of the alterations generated by the El Niño phenomenon that began in the middle of the shrimp season. These weather conditions further complicated the operations of the boats, which had to leave the fishing area and take shelter in protected areas or return to port.

Source: Stockfile FIS

When the boats returned to the fishing area where they were catching, the shrimp had already dispersed again and they had to go out in search of it; That was a constant throughout the season. For fresh vessels, the limitation of 72 hours away from port worked against them, since the capture time was limited much more than stipulated and had a consequent increase in costs.

Source: Stockfile FIS-->

This situation discouraged the freshwater fleet which, towards the end of August, beginning of September, began to collect the spinnakers and direct their catches to the varied coastal fish, pelagic fish or hake, a species for which the majority have an individual catch quota.

This can probably be seen at the end of the year as a positive consequence for the hubbsi processing plants in the city of Mar del Plata, but in Patagonia it meant a limited use of the installed capacity and an early closure of the season for thousands of temporary workers.

The processing plants in Puerto Madryn worked at half their productive capacity, with shorter shifts; and in Rawson several plants did not even open their doors, waiting for what can repair the summer season, a horizon that many are already looking at and even trying to get closer to. Rumors have been heard of requests for prospecting in advance of the usual opening date, which generally occurs in mid-November.

Source: Stockfile FIS

This shortage scenario, on the other hand, has not increased the demand for whole shrimp. Almost like an irony, what the market is asking for is the L1 size in a season in which precisely this size was not the most abundant and is practically no longer on camera. Until now there has not been an improvement in prices and companies are beginning to think about the need to invest in promotion to reactivate consumer interest.

The season is coming to an end and some issues will be debated with a view to the 2024 harvest. The dispersion of the resource, it seems, is here to stay and the 72 hours away from port, which respond to a question of quality and not biological, will surely have to be discussed. On the other hand, the onboard queue processing limit will be another topic of discussion; In this case, the volume of captures would increase, so it will merit an in-depth debate with the intervention of biological specialists. But that will surely remain to be discussed by the Federal Fisheries Council that is formed with the new administrations, those that have already been elected and those that are still a mystery for all Argentines.

Author: Karina Fernández | Revista Puerto (Traslated from the original in Spanish)



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