2022 Was a Boom Year For Falklands Squid and Finfish Fleets
Fisheries authorities in the Falkland Islands have said that 2022 was a bumper year for the squid and hake fishing fleets licenced by the territory. Sixteen ships caught a remarkable 101,166 tonnes of loligo squid; a catch that was exceeded only in 1989, when 118,120 tonnes were landed, although that record catch was achieved by almost three times as many ships.
The haul of hake in 2022 was even more remarkable. Trawlers netted 62,830 tonnes of the finfish species, making it the highest catch of this species since the Falklands established its exclusive economic zone in the mid-1980s.
The latest figures for the third important catch, Illex squid, are not yet in, as the season is ongoing. But the authorities in Pt Stanley reported that the migratory Illex squid had moved into the Falklands-controlled zone early, and the jigging ships, which are owned by companies in the Far East, had been authorised to begin fishing on 10th February. They had caught some 15,000 tonnes within 10 days.
Details of the boom year for Falklands fishing were released by the Government’s Fisheries Committee, which met on 6 March and received reports from the Director of Fisheries and representatives of the company contracted to patrol and monitor activity in the seas around the Falklands.
It was also announced that the Islands’ new patrol vessel FPV Lillibet was about to leave Capetown, and on arrival in the Falklands will undergo two weeks of training with fisheries officials and observers before commencing patrols in the exclusive economic zone.
A large number of ships were routinely checked by the authorities during the year, and issues of concern that emerged from the inspections included accidents and bullying among crew, fishing and safety equipment not meeting specifications, and out-of-date documentation.