Falklands : Illex Season Begins in the Falklands
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 19.02.2011 (Article Archived on 05.03.2011)
The annual migration of jiggers from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China began in earnest over the weekend of 12 – 13 February 2011 with most coming on Monday, 14 February and Tuesday, 15 February 2011.
ILLEX SEASON BEGINS IN THE FALKLANDS
By J. Brock (FINN)
The annual migration of jiggers from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China began in earnest over the weekend of 12 – 13 February 2011 with most coming on Monday, 14 February and Tuesday, 15 February 2011. Though there is a reasonable interest in the species it is too early in the season to tell whether there will be abundant Illex. It is hoped that fishing will be better than in 2009 when the fishery nearly collapsed after catching approximately 45 tonnes and those holding licences got their money back.
According to Director of Natural Resources, John Barton, who spoke to FIRS, it is usual to get early interest in licences when fishing on the high seas is poor.
At this writing vessels are still coming in to collect licences. Last year 70 licences were allocated but when the Illex fishery began it was typical to issue 110 licences. Prior to the 1986/87 launch of the fisheries regime there were as many as 600 vessels waters around the Falklands jigging for Illex.
This season has just started but Illex are mature enough to live their adult lives in colder sub-Antarctic waters. Water temperature and nutrients are vital for Illex stocks. If a current changes or if temperatures rise in their natural habitat then they will move elsewhere.