Image: Revista Puerto / FIS
Today is the last day to go out to the shrimp
Monday, September 25, 2023, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
It was decided by the Federal Fisheries Council. They will be able to fish within the Closed Area until October 4 and outside it until October 10. Subareas 7 and 13 will be closed that same day despite the fact that there are already reports of a high presence of small specimens and hake.
Based on the reports received from INIDEP on both the Shrimp Program and the Hake Bycatch Program, the members of the Federal Fisheries Council defined the closing date of the 2023 shrimp season in national waters. As happened in the past, it has been extended beyond what is recommended to preserve the hake resource that begins its reproductive process at the end of September. It was also decided to close two subareas due to the presence of small shrimp and hake in proportions higher than those allowed, but instead of doing so immediately they have given four days of grace to exploit the resource without prioritizing the biological consequences.
Source: Stockfile FIS
The suspension of dispatch to shrimp fishing was established on September 25 at 11:59 p.m. Starting at 7:00 p.m., the fleet must withdraw from subareas 7 and 13 where a large part of the fleet is concentrated because it will be closed to fishing due to the presence of small specimens of shrimp and hake in percentages higher than those allowed.
It is not explained why the closure of these subareas is delayed until that time. When, in the case of subarea 13, for example, they already had information that as of September 17, the percentage of small specimens were already above the permitted limit: “The percentages of specimens corresponding to categories L4 and younger remained below the 20% established as a limit in most subareas, rising above the value allowed in subarea 13 in the last reported days,” indicates the report presented by INIDEP.
Source: CFP / FIS
The data revealed on the proportion of hake in the catches is scarce; the report presented by the Merluza researchers has only reported the accumulated value of bycatch as of September 10, which stood at 23,841 tons, without accounting for the observed percentages. in the different subareas.
Regarding the closure of the season, the Council has decided that boats will be able to remain within the Permanent Closed Area for Juvenile Hake carrying out fishing operations until 7:00 p.m. on October 4. The subareas that are currently enabled to operate are 4, 5, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16.
Source: Stockfile FIS
Outside the closed area, the fishing ban was established as of 7:00 p.m. on October 10, thus officially ending the 2023 shrimp season in national waters.
Shrimp catch data
The report presented by the INIDEP shrimp research group indicates for the period between September 4 and 17, 2023 that the vessels were mainly concentrated in subareas 7 and 13 but the best average yields were in the subareas of the south (15 and 16), with more than 2,000 kilos per hour.
Source: Stockfile FIS-->
Regarding the sizes of the captured shrimp, expressed in commercial categories, as the shipowners had already pointed out, it was observed that the L2 category was predominant in all subareas.
According to the latest official data, as of September 19, 155 thousand tons of shrimp had been landed, 6% less than the landings in 2022 and 14% less than what was recorded in 2021 during the same period. This figure includes the landings from Rawson's extraordinary season.
The analysis by fleet reveals with greater precision that the reduction in catches for the freezing double rigged fleet was 17% compared to the same period in 2022 and compared to 2021 the drop was 10%. Last year the polefin fleet ended with 90 thousand tons unloaded, a figure that is unlikely to reach this year, given that as of September 19 the total volume computed is 69 thousand tons.
For the deep-sea wet fish fleet, the drop compared to 2022 was 30% and compared to 2021, the drop was 47%, making it the most affected fleet this season. As we have already mentioned in other articles, the combination of dispersion of the resource, bad weather conditions and the limitation of 72 hours away from the port were decisive in reaching this result.
<-- Source: Stockfile FIS
Continuing with the analysis by fleet, it is observed that coastal and bay or estuary ships have been the ones that can display data from a successful year. The former had catches 48% above what was recorded in 2022 and the latter increased their landings by 36% thanks to an extraordinary abundance of the resource in the Rawson season.
Whether Rawson can expect another good season in the coming months can only be inferred after INIDEP carries out the November research campaign, at which time it will also be able to have some idea of the situation of the resource throughout the distribution area. After an atypical season of failed campaigns, the completion of this cruise is key and its execution must be guaranteed.
Author: Karina Fernández | Revista Puerto (Traslated from the original in Spanish)