Fishery Improvement Project
Last update: October 2020
Species: Argentine red shrimp, Patagonian shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri)
FIP Stage according to CASS progress table: 4, FIP is delivering improvement in policies or practices
FIP Rating according to SFP rating system: A (Exceptional Progress, January 2020)
FIP Rating according to MSC benchmarking tool: Initial (Jul 2016): 0.54; First (Jul 2017): 0.61; Second (Jul 2018): 0.63; Third (March 2019); Fourth (December 2019): 0.76
FIP Profile at FisheryProgress.org: Argentina offshore red shrimp – bottom-trawl (June 2020)
Código de Conducta Ambiental [ver]
San Jorge Gulf (provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz), Chubut provincial waters up to Rawson, and national waters between 42° and 47°S.
FIP Coordination: If you would like more information about the FIP or if you wish to support it, please contact Alejandra Cornejo.
- ACHERNAR SAS
- Buena Proa S.A. / Oceanic Seafoods LTD
- Cabo Vírgenes
- Congeladores Patagónicos
- Direct Source
- Estrella Patagónica
- Food Partners Patagonia
- Frigorifico del Sudeste
- Greciamar SA
- Maritime Products International
- PanaPesca USA
- Pesquera Deseado
- Pesquera San Isidro
- Pesquera Santa Cruz
- Pesquera Veraz
- Red Chamber Argentina
- Sysco France
- CeDePesca (technical support)
Sustainability information: Argentine red shrimp – FishSource
Other references: Sealifebase – Pleoticus muelleri
Date Publicly Announced: October 2014
Current Improvement Recommendations:
- Integrate available databases at the federal and provincial levels
- Increase data transparency
- Integrate the information obtained by different onboard observers programs
- Incorporate the ecosystem approach to fisheries management
- Improve compliance with the rules on using devices with grids to release fish bycatch species
The Argentine red shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri) is one of the main resources in the Argentine Sea. Its bottom trawl fishery is characterized by a large fluctuation in the annual level of declared landings. Between two successive years, differences of as much as 35 thousand tonnes have been recorded (Bertuche et al., 2000, 2005). These fluctuations are mainly due to environmental factors affecting the early stages of the red shrimp life cycle, and to the fishing effort applied to concentrations during the recruiting process.
The National Institute of Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP) began the research dedicated to this resource in the 1980s. An initial model was proposed to explain the dynamics of red shrimp in Southern waters, according to which the reproduction process would take place mainly at the north of the San Jorge Gulf, and recruitment at the south of the Gulf, with two dispersive phenomena towards the south and northeast. Subsequent studies showed that the reproduction process takes place throughout the entire Patagonian coast, focusing on three areas: at the south of Rawson, at the north of the San Jorge Gulf and at the south of the San Jorge Gulf. In these locations, the reproduction process would have different start dates and would have different durations and intensities (De Carli et al, 2012). This would seem to suggest the existence of different sub-stocks of Argentine red shrimp; however, the evidence is insufficient to differentiate them. Currently, the fishery is managed as if it acts upon a single stock.
The difficulty in identifying functional units resulted in specific management tools that seek to eliminate or mitigate the factors that could negatively affect the abundance of red shrimp, and were set in response to an oversizing of fishing effort that led to overfishing in the mid-90s. Currently, there is a system of mobile closures, which are added to other restrictions such as minimum mesh size at the back of the net, escape devices for juvenile hake, limited time per fishing haul, towing speed, height at the mouth of the net, night fishing ban, limits for the allowable amount of broken specimens and of specimens of sizes less than 70 units per kilo (up to 20% of total processed weight). The response to these management measures has been positive, although the reticence to make use of escape devices for juvenile hake persists, causing a negative interaction between this fishery and the Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi) fishery located south of 41°S, which is currently in recovery after an extended period of depletion. This interaction is much more pronounced for the freezing fleet, and less pronounced for the coastal fleet based in the port of Rawson.
Moreover, the fishery also interacts with other species, as occurs in many other similar fisheries. Among the bycatch species are the following elasmobranchs: picked dogfish (Squalus acanthias), short spine spur dog (Squalus mitsukurii), narrow mouthed cat shark (Schroederichthys bivius), tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus), narrow nose smooth hound (Mustelus schmitii) and rays from the Squatina family (Cedrola et al., 2012). Additionally, the interaction of the fishery and the habitat needs to be better characterized. There have been efforts to study the interaction with benthic communities but these have not had the necessary continuity.
Annually, the Argentine red shrimp fishery begins its activity at the south of the San Jorge Gulf between the months of March and April. By June and July, fishing operations are enabled in national waters outside the San Jorge Gulf, and from the start of the southern hemisphere Spring, catches are centered at the north of the Gulf and off the coast of the province of Chubut (De Carli et al., 2012).
In 2017, Argentine red shrimp catches amounted to 243,205 tonnes, 41% more than in 2016. Shrimp exports have the highest value in the last 10 years, reaching 183,290 tonnes sold with a record of dollar billing exceeds 1,200 million dollars. This places the shrimp as the main engine in the generation of foreign currency of the Argentine fishing export sector.
The main recipient of Argentine red shrimp is Spain, a country that reduced its participation by five points in relation to 2016. In the course of 2017, exports to Spain increased in dollars due to the increase registered in the average price paid per ton. In 2017, China reduced its participation in three points to take second place. Exports to this country increased 3% in tons and 4% in dollars. Japan, driven by its increase in demand, now occupies the third place in importance, displacing Italy to the fourth position. Exports to Japan increased 51% in dollars while in tons the increase amounts to 41%. This implied that his participation will increase in two points. With regard to Italy, exports to this country were reduced by 6% in tons and by 2% in value, which resulted in a reduction of two points, in the total exports of Argentine red shrimp. During 2017, exports to Vietnam and the United States have increased considerably by 83% and 43% in dollars respectively. It is important to highlight the exports of Argentine shrimp to Russia, a country that, during 2017, multiplied its purchases, measured in dollars, by three, while, in tons, exports they increased 243%. (Minagri, 2017)
Imports of red shrimp into the European Union amounted to 489,139 tonnes in 2018 compared to 2017. (Minagri, 2018)
At the start of the FIP, the fishery is undergoing a period of stability. The main issues regarding its sustainability are:
- The bycatch of hake (Merluccius hubbsi). While in recent years the estimated catches of hake have been declining, they are still significant: discards are in the order of 11 thousand tonnes. The Southern stock of Argentine hake is currently in an initial process of recovery after a long period of depletion.
- Escape devices lawfully admitted (Disela II and Hargril) are generally not used by the fishing fleet.
- The research campaigns conducted by INIDEP are not specifically aimed at the species and do not have the regularity needed to make year comparisons.
- The onboard observer programs of the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz and the onboard observer program for national waters do not work in a coordinated fashion and scientific data is not unified.
- To encourage an increase in the transparency of the scientific data.
- To promote the integration of the information obtained by the various on board observers programs.
- To encourage the incorporation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management.
- To encourage an improvement in the enforcement of the rules related to the use of grids for fish escape.
- To promote inter-jurisdictional management and research for this fishery.
- To achieve an MSC certifiable status.
In October, stakeholders have decided to form a FIP that has been publicly announced and have agreed to conduct a gap analysis against the MSC standard to obtain a more detailed diagnosis regarding the obstacles to sustainability, in order to define a detailed action plan for 2015.
The FIP partners have decided to publish the MSC pre-assessment conducted by Bureau Veritas and have agreed to start implementing improvement actions as of 2016. An Action Plan has been drafted and is currently in discussion and expected to be adopted in January 2016.
On March 8th, at the Boston’s Seafood Expo North America, CeDePesca and the FIP partners -including new adherents- announced the implementation of the FIP to start in 2016. The FIP has gathered strong interest from local and international stakeholders and the list of FIP partners is expected to continue to grow before the signing of the final FIP Agreement.
April – June 2016
On April 4th, FIP partners met in the city of Buenos Aires to sign the FIP Agreement, complete with its Action Plan for the next three years. Twenty companies are currently signatories of the FIP Agreement.
On April 27th, a press conference was held during the Brussels Seafood Expo Global, where CeDePesca updated stakeholders, buyers and other interested parties on the advances of the Patagonian shrimp FIPs. Argentina’s Undersecretary of Fisheries, Mr. Tomás Gerpe, attended this conference and took the opportunity to pledge the government’s support for improvement efforts.
In May and June, new FIP partners Davigel and Greciamar were welcomed to the FIP.
July – September 2016
During FAO’s 32nd Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held in Rome between July 11th and 15th, the Undersecretary of Fisheries at the federal level once again reiterated his support for the FIP.
Also in July, new FIP partners Food Partners Patagonia and Vepez were welcomed to the FIP.
In August, the Fisheries Federal Council convened the Commission for the Follow-up of the Argentine red shrimp fishery. The meeting was held at the FFC’s headquarters in Buenos Aires on August 26th.
At the meeting, the Province of Chubut required federal authorities to design a long-term Management Plan for Red Shrimp and the design and implementation of an inter-jurisdictional management plan, and an inter-jurisdictional commission. These requests are in line with this FIP’s objectives.
Also, on August 29th, the FIP’s Onboard Observers Program was launched. The first observer boarded Pesquera Veraz’ fishing vessel Valiente II on this date.
On the other hand, also in late August and after more than a year of successful partnership, the Patagonian National University of San Juan Bosco (UNPSJB, for its name in Spanish) and CeDePesca signed a Framework Collaboration Agreement formalizing the alliance and committing to continue working together for at least three more years. CeDePesca and the UNPSBJ have continued to coordinate the Onboard Observers with the aim of gathering data related to the impacts of this fishery on the ecosystem.
In September, the Argentine Undersecretary of Fisheries, Mr. Tomás Gerpe, once again publicly expressed the federal government’s intention of adopting a comprehensive management plan for Argentine red shrimp.
Also in September, the Argentine Undersecretariat of Fisheries issued Disposition N° 78-E/2016 mandating that Argentine red shrimp is included under the catch-certificate program as of November 1st, 2016. The program was set up in December 2014 and has been regularly expanded to include more species.
On the other hand, considering the high abundance of red shrimp in national waters, the Fisheries Federal Council decided to suspend catch limits per vessel temporarily and until the fishery closes in late October/early November.
October – December 2016
In October, FIP partners welcomed Cabomar as new partner to the FIP. An Addendum to the Framework Collaboration Agreement was presented to the Spain-based company in late August and was signed by its representatives in early October. Currently, there are 24 industry partners to this FIP.
The 2016 fishing season (that started on November 30th, 2015) closed on October 28th, with landings of approximately 160 thousand metric tons, a new record for the fishery. Landings showed an 18% increase in relation to the 2015 fishing season, according to preliminary data from the Undersecretariat of Fisheries.
During this quarter, no new fishing trips could be observed because the observers became unavailable for the task. CeDePesca resumed the process of recruitment of observers for the FIP’s Onboard Observers Program that is expected to be fully implemented in the 2017 fishing season. In December, the due permits process has been initiated and it will continue during the following months.
Also in December, CeDePesca finished a compilation of technical reports issued by INIDEP (National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development) in the last twelve years. These reports are being processed to extract any data that would be useful to assess the evolution of the stock’s abundance in recent years.
January – March 2017
In January, the analysis of the data compiled from INIDEP technical reports was completed. A report on preliminary indicators of the evolution of the Argentine red shrimp stock is now being drafted by CeDePesca.
In early February, CeDePesca, on behalf of FIP partners, sent a letter to the National Undersecretary of Fisheries to request a historical assessment of the stock’s abundance to determine if its exploitation rate is in line with its maximum sustainable yield or a proxy. The letter also asks for the preparation of a weekly CPUE series for each fleet stratum between 2004 and 2016. The weekly CPUE series would serve as an additional tool for the analysis of the evolution of the stock.
Also in February, in meetings with fishery authorities, FIP partners requested the resumption of INIDEP’s fishery-independent surveys. This action reinforced the formal letter sent by CeDePesca to the National Undersecretary of Fisheries on the behalf of the partners of the Argentine red shrimp onshore FIP (the letter and its answer are to be found in that FIP’s progress Update table at the bottom of this page). The formal answer to the aforementioned letter was that the survey was scheduled to start in March with cooperation of the private sector.
On March 3rd, the Fisheries Federal Council met in the city of Buenos Aires and reviewed INIDEP’s independent survey plan. The plan was designed and agreed with the private sector, who provided a fishing vessel to be used as a scientific cruiser, as well as funds to carry out the survey. The selected fishing vessel was the Bogavante Segundo, owned by FIP partner Iberconsa. It should be noted that FIP partners Iberconsa and Newsan both offered their vessels to conduct the survey, and INIDEP researchers made their choice based on research criteria. The survey had a duration of 15 workdays and ended on March 23rd.
On March 22nd, the Argentine Chamber of Freezing Vessel Owners (CAPeCA) -to which several FIP partners are affiliated- sent a letter to the Fisheries Federal Council (CFP) asking for the summoning of the Commission for the Follow-up of the Argentine red shrimp fishery. The Fisheries Federal Council has instructed that this request is taken into account in the definition of the meeting agenda for 2017 (CFP Meeting Minute N°8-2017).
April – June 2017
On April 3rd, CeDePesca delivered its first progress report to FIP partners. The report was discussed and is now available in the detailed FIP Progress Table (see link at the end of this webpage).
On April 18th, the FIP’s Onboard Observers Program begun aboard the vessel Myrdoma F owned by FIP partner Congeladores Patagónicos.
On April 20th, the Argentine Chamber of Freezing Vessel Owners (CAPeCA) -to which several FIP partners are affiliated- renewed their request to the Fisheries Federal Council (CFP) for the summoning of the Commission for the Follow-up of the Argentine red shrimp fishery. The meeting is summoned for May.
On April 24th, some preliminary results of INIDEP’s independent survey that started in March with collaboration of the private sector were shared with stakeholders. The six specific objectives of the survey were: a) to confirm the presence of shrimp concentrations that are vulnerable and accessible to the commercial trawling shrimp nets in the Gulf of San Jorge and the northern coastal waters of Chubut; b) to analyze the spatial distributions of mature and egg-bearing females in order to estimate fecundity indices and size at first maturity; c) to obtain plankton samples in order to find shrimp eggs and larvae; d) to determine oceanographic conditions and the composition of the epi-benthic fauna associated to the main habitats related to the shrimp distribution in the survey area; e) to obtain samples for pathology studies to be conducted by INIDEP and SENASA; f) to sample and quantify bycatch. INIDEP considers that it is possible to infer that the first half of the 2017 fishing season will have similar catch levels to other fishing seasons in the recent past. It also advised to take measures to protect areas where small individuals are located, and measures to protect the areas where reproductive concentrations were distributed.
Also in April, FIP partners Shore NV, Pesquera Veraz and CeDePesca attended the Seafood Expo Global held at Brussels from April 24th to 26th. At the meeting, FIP progress was presented to interested parties.
On May 3rd, the Commission for the Follow-up of the Argentine red shrimp fishery held its first meeting of the year. The Undersecretariat of Fisheries presented a report on the fishery’s evolution from 2011 to date. INIDEP researchers proposed to wait until mid-May to conducted the survey that will assess whether the fishery should open, and also recommended to shorten the fishing season, in order to reduce bycatch of Argentine hake (see FIP Progress Table below).
In June, the CFP agreed to grant Chubut and Santa Cruz an extra quota of 2,300 mt to each, in compensation for the setting of fishing closure zones in the San Jorge Gulf during the year 2017.
On June 21st, CeDePesca attended a hearing at the CFP to present the FIP’s goals and progress and to encourage the implementation of a management plan for the fishery. The hearing was requested by CeDePesca in May. During the meeting, the results from the Onboard Observers Program for the 2016-2017 fishing season were presented and compared with those from the 2015-2016 fishing season and improvement recommendations were made.
Also in June, an informal meeting with INIDEP researchers responsible for the shrimp fishery was held. The improvements needed in research were discussed, including the request for a historical assessment of Argentine red shrimp’s stock in relation to biological reference points.
July – September 2017
Regarding improvements to the management system, in early August, the national Undersecretariat of Fisheries formally requested the Fisheries Federal Council (CFP) to conform a special workgroup to draft a management plan for the fishery. The CFP replied that an agenda will be discussed in subsequent meetings.
On August 31st, CeDePesca -on behalf of FIP partners- presented a letter to the CFP on August 31st to encourage improvements needed to achieve a certifiable status for the Argentine red shrimp fishery. Among the items discussed in the letter are: (i) the need to formalize the criteria for the opening and closure of the fishery, as well as fishery specific objectives, (ii) the need for regular data exchanges between national and provincial jurisdictions, (iii) the need to set up regular meetings of the Commission for the Follow-up of the Argentine red shrimp fishery; (iv) the need for setting biological reference points and the estimation of stock status indicators.
On September 5th, the Commission for the Follow-up of the Argentine red shrimp fishery met. At this meeting, FIP partners once again expressed the need to draft and adopt a management plan for the fishery. It should be noted that fishery stakeholders have already begun to express their interest in participating from the technical group that shall be set up to draft the plan.
In addition, on September 27th, FIP partners held a workshop with fishery stakeholders in the city of Buenos Aires. CeDePesca pointed to the need for a clear harvest strategy and harvest control rules for the Argentine shrimp fishery, asking for the introduction of clear and specific measures regarding the fishery opening and closure criteria, as well as a decision-making protocol if abundance falls below a critical threshold to be determined. It was also highlighted the need to define a solution for by-catch and discards for the offshore fleet.
Regarding improvements to research, on August 18th, CeDePesca sent a formal letter to the Undersecretary of Fisheries at the national level on behalf of FIP partners, to reiterate the request for the estimation of standardized weekly CPUE series for the ice-chilling fleet from 2004 to 2016, as a tool to analyze the evolution of the stock. On September 18th, the Undersecretary formally replied that the Undersecretariat will not be able to produce the required series with the data currently available to the entity, but suggests that the request is made to the Fisheries Research and Development Institute (INIDEP).
On September 29th, CeDePesca presented a letter to the Director of INIDEP requesting a series of catch per unit of weekly effort, by stratum of fleet, between 2004 and 2016. Also on this date, a second letter was sent requesting a meeting with INIDEP authorities and with the researchers assigned to the shrimp fishery. Unfortunately, to December 31st, INIDEP authorities have not replied.
October – December 2017
In October, the last trips of the 2017 fishing season were observed on board the vessels Arbumasa XVII (property of FIP partner Arbumasa) and Suemar (property of FIP partner Congeladores Patagónicos). The 2017 fishing season was closed on October 31st, in accordance to the provisions of the Fisheries Federal Council (CFP Meeting Minute No. 31/2017, point 2.1, page 7).
On November 1st, CeDePesca requested, through the administrative head of the Fisheries Federal Council, access to several communications presented by INIDEP. These communications helped to guide the decision-making process regarding the management measures in the shrimp fishery at the time, and would portrait the technical opinion of INIDEP in matters such as the possibility of opening fishing areas in national waters within the Juvenile Hake Closed Area. Recommendations issued by INIDEP for opening and closure of the fishing areas would include criteria such as the percentage of hake bycatch, in addition to abundance and shrimp size structure. This information would be useful for the design of a proposal for a harvest control rule based on reference points or proxies that mirrors as much as possible the methodology already used by the fishery managers. Unfortunately, on November 16th, CeDePesca was notified by the administrative head the request had been rejected. CeDePesca will continue to insist on the release of the recommendations by making a formal appeal to the Council.
Also in November, INIDEP started its second 2017 research campaign in the San Jorge Gulf and the coasts of Chubut. The work is being conducted on board the commercial vessel Bogavante Segundo, owned by FIP partner Iberconsa.
On November 30th, the CFP announced it will start work to define a Management Plan for the Argentine red shrimp fishery and that it would initiate an exchange with the representatives of different business chambers. For the purpose of these meetings, the CFP will travel to the provinces between December 2017 and March 2018.
On December 7th, the first of the aforementioned meetings took place in the city of Mar del Plata (province of Buenos Aires). The Fisheries Federal Council met with the Association of Coastal Fishing Boats, UDIPA, CAFREXPORT, CAIPA and the Cámara de Armadores de Buques Pesqueros de Altura. The following scales of this route during February and March 2018 are to be Port Madryn, Port Deseado and Port San Antonio.
January – March 2018
Regarding the design of a Management Plan for the fishery, on January 31st and February 1st, the Fisheries Federal Council (CFP) held meetings in Puerto Madryn and Rawson city, with representatives of several fishing sector chambers established in the province of Chubut (Cámara Argentina Patagónica de Industrias Pesqueras – CAPIP), Cámara Pesquera de Chubut – CAPECH, Cámara de la Flota Artesanal de Puerto Rawson, Cámara de Empresas Portuarias de Comodoro Rivadavia, Cámara de la Flota Amarilla de Puerto Rawson) and other independent fishing companies. On February 28th and March 1st, the CFP visited the province of Santa Cruz to hold meetings in Puerto Deseado city with representatives of the fishing industry chamber Cámara de Pesqueros Congeladores de la Argentina (Ca.Pe.CA) and independent fishing companies in that province.
Regarding improvements to fishery research, on February 21st, CeDePesca and FIP partners coordinator, Mr. Federico Angeleri, met with authorities of the Fisheries Research and Development Institute (INIDEP) and the research team dedicated to the Patagonian red shrimp fishery. During this meeting, data requests related to Catch per Unit of Effort and a historical analysis of the evolution of the stock against biological reference points were reiterated. Data regarding bycatch levels was also requested. Researchers committed to consider the matter and provide an answer shortly.
On the other hand, in January, INIDEP launched a 26-day campaign to assess the abundance of common hake (Merluccius hubbsi) in Patagonian waters, and to determine the summer distribution of Patagonian shrimp in the Gulf of San Jorge and external waters. This research campaign took place on board the research vessel Dr. Eduardo L. Holmberg, property of INIDEP. Later, on March 14th, the fishing vessel Bogavante Segundo, property of FIP partner Iberpesca, carried INIDEP researchers to conduct the third red shrimp survey campaign in the San Jorge Gulf and Chubut coast that is made with support from the private sector.
Also during this quarter, FIP partner Vepez announced its withdrawal from the project because of commercial reasons. The other FIP partners and CeDePesca thank Vepez for the support it gave to this FIP.
On the other hand, on March 13th, a meeting was held at the Seafood Expo North America, where the advances in the Argentine red shrimp FIP were presented at the Boston Convention Center.
On April 4th, the FFC meetings with different chambers and companies, continued within the framework of red shrimp Management Plan, during the visit to Río Negro province, which held meetings in Las Grutas, with representatives of independent companies and representatives of artisan sector.
On April 26th the preliminary advances in the Argentine red shrimp onshore FIP were presented at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, with the participation of Chubut Fisheries Secretary.
On May 11th, a note was sent to INIDEP’s authorities, insisting on the request for catch and effort data. In this note the alternative of financing the work was offered with the contribution from FIP members. On June 28th, a second note was send. There was no official notification yet, although through informal contacts it has been reported that INIDEP authorities will soon offer an estimated development plan and budget for this task.
On May 17th, the Federal Fisheries Council issued the Resolution No. 7/2018, which establishes the management measures for the red shrimp fishery. The main points are: to maintain the commitment of Chubut and Santa Cruz not to allow the capture of red shrimp throughout San Jorge Gulf for the current year, and up to a period of 5 years, as well as length requirements of up to 40m and power up to 2,000 HP and the minimum size of the 45 mm malleus between opposite knots. It also establishes the obligatory nature of the use of the selectivity device when the hake / shrimp catch ratio exceeds the maximum value established by INIDEP. And it adds that in case of catches reduction, equivalent to 50% or more of the average of the last 5 years, a Contingency Plan will be applied.
On May 19th began the prospection of red shrimp in national waters, according to the provisions of Federal Fisheries Council (Act Nº 11/2018).
On June 21th, CeDePesca filed a statement with the authorities stating its position regarding the management measures resolved.
From July 14th to July 31th, the shrimp survey was carried out in the San Jorge Gulf, the Chubut coast and national waters aboard the BIP Víctor Angelescu.
On August 2nd, researchers from INIDEP Hake Program informed to FFC about the significant increase of bycatch of argentine red shrimp fishery: it was 32% higher than that registered in 2017. The hake by-catch obtained between March 3 and July 28 reached 16,950 tonnes and the hake / shrimp ratio varied from the week between July 16 to 22 (0.26) to the week between July 23 and 28 (0.11), when the fleet decreased its activity south of 45 ° S parallel and concentrated towards 44 ° S.
On August 16th, the Federal Fisheries Council analyzed the results of the 2018 season, and concluded that although the bycatch is greater than that registered in 2017; it would be explained by a greater presence of hake and abundance of juveniles of this species. Given this change of scenery they proposed to review the selective fishing gear, and it was decided to carry out a campaign to evaluate them.
On August 22th the partner CONARPESA withdrew from the FIP.
On September 5th, CeDePesca presented two notes to Federal Fisheries Council: the first to request a hearing with the FFC and to explain the FIP progress; and the second note, to request the meetings of Monitoring Commission of red shrimp fishery.
On September 12th the coastal shrimp fishery (Pleoticus muelleri) report in Chubut‘s waters. Risk analysis for the habitat – year 2016 – CSA method was published in the Maritime Front Magazine, Vol. N ° 25
On October 18th, the Federal Fisheries Council determined the closing of red shrimp season for October 30th as stated in the FFC Act No. 30/2018. The last boarding of the Private On-Board Observer Program was held on November 10, 2018.
On October 24th CeDePesca presented a new note requesting to INIDEP an abundance analysis of argentine red shrimp fishery. As of the date of this report, there was still no response.
On November 9th, the red shrimp survey in San Jorge Gulf and Chubut coast began on board the commercial fishing vessel Bogavante Segundo (Iberconsa).
On December 5th CeDePesca presented a note to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, to inform about the MSC certification of argentine red shrimp fishery.
In March 17th to 19th, at the Seafood Expo North America FIP progress shrimp were presented.
On March 12th, red shrimp campaign began on Bogavante Segundo vessel (Iberconsa), with researchers from INIDEP’s Crustaceans Program. The campaign lasted 20 days and evaluated the red shrimp abundance in San Jorge Gulf and Chubut coast.
On March 26th and 27th, the Conference on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries was held. Stakeholders from fishing activity discussed their implementation, in the meeting organized by the Agribusiness Secretariat and Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat.
In March 27th, FIP members presented a note to Federal Fisheries Council, requesting the convocation of red shrimp Tracking Commission. The Council decided to convene the Commission, once the results of red shrimp research campaign are available, as indicated in the Meeting Minute N° 8/2019.
On March 28th, the Federal Fisheries Council decided to create a Commission to work on the bycatch in Argentine fisheries.
On April 9th, a meeting was held between researchers from INIDEP and CeDePesca, where the technical criteria for carrying out the abundance analysis of the shrimp fishery were agreed upon. On May 3rd a new meeting was held to define the time series data to be considered in the above analysis, the coverage area and the formal framework of collaborative work. It was decided to submit a proposal for an agreement between INIDEP and CeDePesca, representing FIP partners. On May 8th the formal proposal of INIDEP’s Director Agreement was presented. Currently, a draft agreement has been made for INIDEP to carry out an analysis with red shrimp reference points in a 10-year time series, and is ready to be signed in the next few days.
On April 26th, the meeting of red shrimp Monitoring Committee was held. Decreasing biomass, delayed maturation and hake bycatch were the central issues. Management plans are not treated or breach of rules was discussed. Only the creation of new commissions was defined.
On May 8th, a workshop was held on the implementation of Electronic Fishing Party (EFP); the activity was promoted by the Undersecretariat of Fishery, and was attended by different representatives of the activity. In addition, work was carried out on the form Electronic Part of Catch and Production of argentine red shrimp was presented.
On May 20th, the Federal Fisheries Council asked INIDEP to express itself on the selectivity devices, whose compulsory use ceased in 2016. Most of the fleet had not been using them because the crews consider them uncomfortable to maneuver.
On June 13th, the Federal Fisheries Council established that, based on information provided by observers on board, when a hake / shrimp ratio greater than 0.15 is verified, in any sub-area, the use of selectivity devices is required, in the terms of article 5 of red shrimp Management Plan approved by FFC (Resolution Nº 7/2018); when this ratio reaches 0.30, it will be closed.
On June 13th, the Federal Fisheries Council authorized the 2019 red shrimp fishing season. Also, FFC established in Minute No. 16/2019 that, – based on the information provided by the observers on board-, when a hake / shrimp ratio greater than 0.15 is verified, in any sub-area, the use of selectivity devices is required, in the terms of article 5 of the Shrimp Fisheries Management Measures approved by FFC Resolution No. 7/18, and that when this ratio reaches 0.30, it will be closed.
On June 14th, the first “Bycatch Work Commission” meeting was held at INIDEP, in Mar del Plata city.
July – September 2019
On June 13th, the Federal Fisheries Council established that, based on information provided by observers on board, when a hake / shrimp ratio greater than 0.15 is verified, in any sub-area, the use of selectivity devices is required, in the terms of article 5 of red shrimp Management Plan approved by FFC (Resolution Nº 7/2018); when this ratio reaches 0.30, it will be closed.
On June 14th, the first “Bycatch Work Commission” meeting was held at INIDEP, in Mar del Plata city.
On June 14th, the company Agropez (Conarpesa) was reincorporated into the offshore red shrimp FIP.
On July 4th, the Federal Fisheries Council decided to advance on the criteria for opening and closing areas in closed area (FFC Resolution No. 7/2018). The maximum admissible percentage of red shrimp youth, when in an area or subzone is verified, during four days of fishing followed, the presence of size categories L4, L5 and L6 in a percentage equal to or greater than 20%, will be closed. This percentage is established in a preliminary manner, and INIDEP was requested to report the detail of catches by size composition of the last three years in order to adjust this criterion.
On July 5th, the red shrimp campaign began in the San Jorge Gulf, Chubut’s coastal waters and adjacent national waters, aboard the Víctor Angelescu research vessel.
On July 18th, the FFC reported the estimate of hake bycatch accumulated as of July 14th, since the beginning of the season, it was 10,200 tons. The hake / shrimp ratio reached 0.16 in mid-July.
On August 15th, INIDEP presented at Federal Fisheries Council the Advice and Transfer Report No. 62/2019, which estimates a hake bycatch since the beginning of the season of 20,932 t, similar to that obtained in 2018. The average hake/langostino ratio in recent weeks reached 0.18, exceeding 0.15 in Subzone B.6, Sector 2 and Sector 3, and 0.30 in Subzone A.3. Based on this, the Council decided to close the red shrimp fishery in Sub-area A.3.; and also require the selectivity devices use in Sub-areas B.6.
On August 2nd, an agreement was signed with INIDEP that aims to obtain historical series of at least ten years of abundance indicators developed by INIDEP, based on the historical series of campaign data and scientific observers, which can be used as tools to understand the situation of red shrimp stock by establishing biological reference points.
On September 17th and 18th, the “Conference on Selectivity and Bycatch Reduction» were held at INIDEP, in Mar del Plata city. Participants included business chambers, captain’s associations, civil society organizations, researchers, the Argentine Navy, the Argentine Naval Prefecture, national fisheries authorities and members of Federal Fisheries Council. The meeting goals were to inform and raise awareness about bycatch and the commercial, environmental and social impacts it has on the fishing sector; to promote the implementation of action lines aimed at reducing bycatch through the selectivity systems in fisheries in Argentina, and to generate a space for dialogue and debate on both these issues. The conference was organized by Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development, in the framework of Project «Protect marine biodiversity: Ecosystem approach to fisheries and protected areas«, which is executed by the Secretariat and implemented by FAO.
On September 18th, the Federal Fisheries Council resolved, through Minute N° 28/2019, to accompany the hake selectivity campaign in the red shrimp fishery, which began on September 28th with Fishing Research Vessel “Victor Angelescu”, from INIDEP. Federal Fisheries Council decided to carry out this monitoring with the participation of twenty commercial fleet vessels, from September 25th to October 15th, in order to compare the data obtained in research activities with those obtained by commercial fleet during the selectivity campaign that will take place in the area between parallels 45° and 46°20′ S and meridians 62° and 64° W. Also, the Council established that: (a) participating vessels are designated by the Authority of Application; (b) they must carry observers on board; and (c) all accompanying fauna must be brought to port.
On September 28th, INIDEP’s vessel, «Victor Angelescu», began a campaign to evaluate the performance of selectivity devices in shrimp fishing.
October – December 2019
On October 10th, the Federal Fisheries Council decided to close the red shrimp fishery. However, a few days later, the Federal Fisheries Council decided to postpone the closing for another ten days (October 25th), at C.A.Pe.C.C.A. request, as recorded in Minute No. 29/2019.
On October 15th the Consequence Spatial Analysis (CSA) for the 2017 season was completed.
On October 24th, the FFC decided to request information from INIDEP on: a) the spatial distribution of red shrimp fleet operation during the last five years outside the Hake Youth Closed Area (AVJM, in Spanish), and b) a recommendation for management measures outside the AVJM.
On October 28th, the Federal Fisheries Council declared its interest in measuring the impact of red shrimp catching fleet on the common hake bycatch. The advisors asked INIDEP for information on spatial distribution operation of red shrimp fleet during the last five years outside the Permanent Hake Closed Zone (ZVP, in Spanish). The request also included management recommendations.
On October 31th, the red shrimp evaluation campaign began in the San Jorge Gulf, Chubut coast and adjacent national waters on board the commercial vessel «Bogavante Segundo», owned by the partner Iberconsa.
On November 7th, in response to the request made to INIDEP in point 3.1 of FFC Minute No. 32/2019, the Institute sends the reference note with the required information, presenting the distribution maps of monthly operations of the freezer shrimp fleet outside the AVJM (Youth Hake Closed Area), from 2015 to October 2019, from daytime satellite monitoring, between 3 and 4 knots of speed. In general, the fleet has operated between parallels 41° and 42° south latitude and meridians 60° and 62° west longitude. During the months of January, July and August of the five years of study, the fleet has not operated north of AVJM. The information reported by observers on board indicates a significant reduction in catches per unit of effort in recent days and an increase in the ratio of average hake / shrimp: from 26th October to 3rd November the average ratio hake / shrimp rose to 1.66, so INIDEP recommends the cessation of fishing operations for shrimp until early March, outside the AVJM, a measure that also aims to protect the reproductive process of shrimp that has a high percentage of females impregnated.
On November 13th, the FFC convened the Red Shrimp Tracking Commission through Minute No. 34/2019.
On November 20th, INIDEP made a presentation to the Red Shrimp Tracking Commission on the fishery evolution throughout 2019. It presented the methodology used to estimate the hake bycatch and the results obtained indicating the estimated value for 2019 reached 40,000 tons. The fishery conditions were discussed, as well as the implications of management measures on the different fleets. The importance of monitoring environmental issues was highlighted. In relation to the closure of the fishery north of the closed area, the cameras requested that the measure be lifted from the month of February and that the impact on companies in terms of costs be taken into account and the situation of the different fleets be considered. It was clarified that to adopt the measure mentioned different scenarios were analyzed and that multiple factors were considered and indicated that it was decided to advance privileging the precautionary criterion, taking into account the information provided by INIDEP regarding common hake.
On November 27th the INIDEP Technical Report No. 44/2019 was presented to Federal Fisheries Council, with the results of the campaign conducted on board the B/I «Victor Angelescu», on the hake selectivity in the red shrimp fishery.
January – March 2020
On January 6th, 7th and 8th the offshore red shrimp FIP audit required by Fishery Progress for FIPs over three years old was carried out
On January 15th a meeting was held with the FIPs partners in Buenos Aires city. During the event, preliminary results of abundance analysis carried out by INIDEP researchers were presented.
On January 30th, the Federal Fisheries Council received INIDEP Report No. 1/2020; they decided to request the results presentation during the next meeting. With regard to selectivity, the Federal Fisheries Council discussed the need to review and to adjust the current regulations on selective devices. It was agreed to continue with the treatment and study of this matter in the next meetings.
On February 6th, the new INIDEP‘s director, Lic. Oscar Horacio Padin, began his tasks.
On February 13th, INIDEP researchers presented the campaign results with hake selectivity devices in the shrimp fishery, conducted on board the vessel ANGELESCU (VA-09/2019) between 28/09/19 and 9/10/19. With regard to the selectivity mechanisms, there was agreement on the need to achieve integrated work between researchers, companies, fishing captains and the administration, in order to agree on measures that are effective and consistent with the objectives sought, and it was agreed to continue making progress within the framework of Bycatch Monitoring Commission.
On March 12th, the Federal Fisheries Council asked INIDEP for a technical proposal to prospect the red shrimp, with vessels from the commercial fleet, north of the 42°S parallel (outside the closed area), with a start date of 13/04/20.
On March 13th, the red shrimp survey campaign began in San Jorge Gulf, national waters and Chubut’s coast, on board the commercial vessel Bogavante Segundo, owned by Iberconsa (FIP partner).
April – June 2020
On April 15th, the red shrimp survey was launched, with 12 vessels from the commercial fishing fleet selected by the Undersecretary of Fisheries. Nine observers from INIDEP and three from the Chubut province participated. INIDEP reported the results obtained during the first two prospection days. The ratio of hake / red shrimp ranged between 0.06 and 0.16 (86.5% of red shrimp caught belong to categories L1 and L2).
On April 24th, INIDEP reported the results obtained during the first two prospection days. The ratio of hake / red shrimp ranged between 0.06 and 0.16, that 86.5% of red shrimp caught belong to categories L1 and L2.
On May 4th, 2020, the Observers’ report for 2019 season and the Consequence Spatial Analysis (CSA) for the 2017 season were shared with the FIP’s partners.
On May 7th INIDEP presented to the Federal Fisheries Council (FFC) and Cámara de Armadores de Pesqueros y Congeladores de Argentina (CAPeCA), the results of the survey campaign of shrimp in the Gulf San Jorge, national waters and coast of Chubut, conducted on board the commercial fishing vessel Bogavante Segundo, owned by Iberconsa (FIP partner).
On May 27, INIDEP participated in the third meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee of the project «Protecting Marine Biodiversity: Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Protected Areas», executed by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).On June 15 began a red shrimp survey in the area of permanent closure area of young hake (AVPJM in Spanish). The prospected area was divided into five sub-areas. From 24 participating vessels, 14 are covered with INIDEP observers and 10 with personnel from Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces.
On 17 June the FIP partners decided to sign up the Environmental Code of Conduct for the red shrimp fishery.
On June 19th, INIDEP researchers participated in a workshop on Selectivity and Discards Reduction. The meeting was part of the actions planned by the «Working Commission to Strengthen Bycatch Reduction Measures in Fisheries – CT-bycatch«.
July – September 2020
On July 18th the INIDEP’s vessel “V. Angelescu” set sail for the red shrimp survey campaign in San Jorge Gulf, Chubut coast and adjacent national waters. The evaluation campaign had among its objectives the determination of selective parameters for a double grid device, type DISELA II, with 47 and 30 mm separation between rods.
On August 25th, a virtual meeting was held to contribute to the strengthening of commercial vessel On-Board Observer Program, where the survey results conducted in provinces with a coastline and INIDEP were presented, to consolidate data collection, storage and processing of information from observers.
On September 10th, FIP partners were introduced to the initiative for a webinar with researchers of pink shrimp fishery (Oregon), which achieved certification and has similarities with the Argentinean red shrimp.