The Fisheries Department’s primary mission is to achieve maximum sustainable yield from fish and squid stocks in Falkland and adjacent waters in order to create long-term wealth for the community. This process is to be underpinned by effective Fisheries Science, Fisheries Protection, and Administration.
The following main goals should be followed to ensure stock assessment and management of the commercial fishery resources of the Falkland Islands.
- Abundance and stock dynamics of main commercial species should be estimated both in-season and after-season and used for licensing advice, TAC/TAE allocation and management.
- Ecology, stock structure and migrations of main commercial species inhabiting waters around the Falkland Islands should be studied in sufficient detail that would create a basis to apply stock assessment models properly.
- Hydrographical/oceanographic factors affecting the variability in stock abundance should be studied to reveal possible environmental predictors to forecast the trends in stock biomass with at least several months in advance.
- The impacts of various fisheries on the environment and ecosystems should be minimised.
In recent years, stocks of a few finfish species in waters around the Falkland Islands decreased with corresponding decrease in fish size. This is especially evident with rock cod Patagonotothen ramsayi, whose abundance drastically decreased by 2016-2017. In 2018-2020, a substantial scientific effort will be directed to studies of demography, abundance dynamics and migrations of the main finfish species from Falkland waters such as hakes, hoki, southern blue whiting, toothfish and rock cod. These will also done for valuable bycatch such as kingclip and red cod.
Monitoring of stock status and abundance of the main commercial squid species Illex and Doryteuthis gahi will be also carried out.
Objectives of Fisheries Science
- To carry out stock assessment and biomass estimates of main commercial species of fish and squid.
- To collect and analyse all available commercial data, produce licensing advice and establish the TAC/TAE (where available) for the main commercial fisheries.
- To study the biology, ecology and life cycles of the main commercial marine species inhabiting waters around the Falkland Islands.
- To enhance our ecosystem approach by studying key biological and physical parameters and dynamics in the Falkland Conservation Zones and adjacent waters.
- To produce fisheries reports for Government and fishing industry and publish scientific papers for international readership.
- To study and minimise environmental impacts of fishing practices, and promote good environmental stewardship in the Falkland Islands.
To approach those objectives following projects are currently undertaken:
Age and growth, and reproductive biology of butterfish (Stromateus brasiliensis)
The ecological role and trophic relations of seasonal cohorts of the Patagonian Squid (Doryteuthis gahi) in the marine ecosystem of the Falkland Islands
Understanding the patterns of recruitment and migration in a commercial loliginid squid population (Doryteuthis gahi) using statolith microchemistry
Application of spatial predictive models to describe juvenile Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) distribution patterns across the Falkland Islands shelf
Recruitment and ontogenetic migration pathways for juvenile Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) using otolith elemental profiles
Falkland Islands Skate Identification