Argentina’s Chamber of Jigger Fishing Vessels Shipowners (CAPA, per the acronym in Spanish) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a group of six international squid buyers for joint collaboration in the fishery improvement project (FIP) for Argentine shortfin squid.
The MoU was signed at Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global in Barcelona, Spain, with squid-buyers including Alfrío, Cabomar, Congalsa, and Panapesca USA participating. The agreement will also be sent to Sysco France and Lund's Fisheries for their signing, bringing a total of six companies into the FIP.
The shortfin squid fishery is the world’s second-largest squid fishery, with the species appearing in the southwest Atlantic from Brazil to southern Argentina and the Falkland Islands, and due east into the high seas. In Argentina, CAPA represents the fishing fleet that operates throughout Argentina’s exclusive economic zone, the only such fleet in the West that uses jigs for catching shortfin squid. CAPA boasts 32 member-companies, representing 66 jiggers and 90 percent of Argentina's shortfin squid catch.
The goal of the FIP is to bring more-sustainable products to European and U.S. retailers, CAPA said. The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership is helping to coordinate the improvement project.
“Working with committed producers and companies that share similar views and goals for sustainability is an important step to ensure a healthy future for one of the most important squid resources globally,” SFP E.U. Markets Director Carmen Gonzalez-Valles said. “This new FIP is an important step forward for the squid sector, and it is crucial that retailers are supportive of the work.”
Participants in the FIP, originally announced in March at the 2022 Seafood Expo North America, are working with a fisheries expert to design a five-year action plan to address weaknesses identified in a recent Marine Stewardship Council pre-assessment of the squid fishery within Argentina’s exclusive economic zone, with the goal of meeting the requirements for active FIPs by the end of the year and eventually achieve MSC certification. The improvement plan is led by CAPA and aims to mobilize other stakeholders in the region.
“We are committed to the FIP. We want to differentiate Argentine squid from the rest that is deployed in the South Atlantic, and be able to enter the retail system of all the supermarkets that we cannot today – and above all, that our fishing grounds become more sustainable every day,” CAPA President Juan Redini said.
Photo courtesy of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership