Argentine hake (Bottom trawl)

Argentine hake (Bottom trawl)

Fishery Improvement Project – Prospective

Last update: February 2020

Species: Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi)  [Southern stock]

FIP Stage according to CASS1, The fishery’s performance is being evaluated and stakeholders are being recruited to participate in the project.

FIP profile at Argentine hake – industrial bottom trawl

Fishery Location: FAO Area 41.  Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone, south of parallel 41°S, waters under federal jurisdiction.

FIP Coordination: If you would like more information about the FIP or if you wish to support it, please contact Pablo Basso (Grupo Iberconsa) or Alejandra Cornejo (CeDePesca).

FIP Participants:

  • Grupo Iberconsa Argentina (Iberconsa de Argentina S.A., Pesquera Ceres S.A., Pesquera Géminis S.A., Giorno S.A., Antártida Pesquera Industrial (API) S.A., Atunera Argentina S.A.)
  • CeDePesca (technical support)

Other references:

Date Publicly Announced: October 2019 (Prospective FIP announced)

Current Improvement Recommendations:

  • [ON TRACK] Complete an MSC Pre-Assessment of the fishery to determine its current level of compliance against the standard and to identify sustainability issues.
  • [ON TRACK] If needed, design a FIP Action Plan to achieve a certifiable status for the fishery.


Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi) is a demersal-pelagic species that inhabits cold waters related to sub-antartic currents, and it is one of the main fishing resources in the Argentine Sea.  The Southern stock of the species is distributed between 41°S and 48°S. The fishery is managed by the Fisheries Federal Council (Consejo Federal Pesquero) and the National Secretariat for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca de la Nación), while research and stock assessments are undertaken by the National Institute of Fisheries Research and Development (Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero).

The industrial fishery is comprised of two main fleets: the freezing fleet and the chilling fleet. Both fleets use bottom trawls as fishing gear.  The port of Mar del Plata is the main landing port for this species. In 2018, landings of Argentine hake (Southern stock) reached 231,656 tonnes.

Grupo Iberconsa has decided to team up with CeDePesca with the aim of designing a FIP, with the ultimate goal of achieving a certifiable status for the Argentine hake Southern stock bottom-trawl fishery.  CeDePesca has, since its creation in 1997, worked for the sustainability of the Argentine hake fishery.

Progress Update


July – December 2019

On July 1st, 2019, Grupo Iberconsa Argentina and CeDePesca signed a Framework Agreement and Specific Agreement N1 to implement Stages 0 – 2 of a Fishery Improvement Project for the Argentine hake (Southern stock) industrial bottom trawl fishery.

On November 30th, CeDePesca delivered the first draft of a pre-assessment of the fishery against the MSC standard. 


January 2020

On January 29th, CeDePesca presented a draft Action Plan to Grupo Iberconsa Argentina, identifying improvement needs and suggesting a road map to attain a certifiable status for the fishery in the shortest timeframe possible.  If the Action Plan is adopted, a new Specific Agreement will be signed, and the FIP will start its implementation stage.

A meeting between Grupo Iberconsa, INIDEP and CeDePesca to discuss potential FIP tasks has been scheduled for March 2020.

If you would like more information about the FIP or if you wish to support it, please contact Pablo Basso (Grupo Iberconsa) or Alejandra Cornejo (CeDePesca).