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Cephalopods
Cuttlefish trade more dynamic [November 2016]
It seems that the cuttlefish trade has been more dynamic as of late. During the first quarter of 2016, imports into Japan increased by almost 20%. Spanish imports of cuttlefish went up by 15% during the same period.

The main suppliers to Japan were Thailand and Morocco, while the main suppliers to Spain were Morocco, France and Mauritania. Morocco accounted for as much as two thirds of Spanish imports during this period.

An overview of the octopus market in the first quarter of 2016 [October 2016]
In Spain, authorities and the fishing industry agreed on imposing a ban on octopus fishing in Galician waters for a six-week period, from 20 May 20 until 4 July, and imposing catch limitations thereafter in an effort to improve the stocks in these waters. The action was the result of an analysis that was undertaken from December 2015 to May 2016. During this period, prices were solid as a result of earlier restrictions. In the beginning of June, supplies of fresh cooked octopus and frozen octopus in Mercamadrid, a Spanish food distribution company, increased.

During the first quarter of 2016, Japanese imports of frozen octopus fell by 13.4%. The main reductions came from lower shipments from Mauritania, which shipped 49% less than during the same period in 2015. Shipments from Morocco and China both went up.

Spanish octopus imports, on the other hand, grew by 11.5% during the first quarter period, to 15 500 tonnes. The main supplier, Morocco, increased exports to Spain by almost 22%, to total 10 000 tonnes. For the other suppliers there were only minor changes.

US octopus imports declined by some 17% during the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. Imports fell from 5 700 tonnes in 2015 to 4 700 tonnes in 2016.

Squid landings low and prices skyrocketing [October 2016]
Landings of illex squid off the South American coast in 2015 were about 25% below 2014 figures. Total Argentine landings of Illex argentinus for 2015 amounted to 126 500 tonnes. For 2016, the situation is even more dire.

According to authorities, illex catches in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) so far this season were just 2 000 tonnes, an extreme drop compared with 170 000 tonnes during the same period last year. In fact, catches have been so low that the authorities are considering reimbursing part of the licence fees to vessels.

The loligo fishery has shown more encouraging signs. In 2015, Argentine loligo landings hit a record 358 000 tonnes, up from 306 000 tonnes in 2014. In 2016, loligo landings are expected to fall again, but not as dramatically as is the case for illex.

In Argentine waters, production figures are a bit brighter, but still below landings last year. The poor landings off South America are generally attributed to the strong El Niño in 2015/2016. However, scientists are now expecting the current El Niño to taper off and temperature conditions to return to normal. This should bring about an improvement in landings over the next year.

El Niño is having the same effect on squid fisheries further north, along the California coast. Squid supplies are very tight locally, and this is affecting local restaurants as well as the squid fishermen.
According to Undercurrent News, the shortage of illex may lead some retailers to shift their sourcing to giant squid from Peru. Retail demand for squid in Europe is strong, but supplies and inventories are low.

In terms of trade, for the first quarter of 2016, there was a slight decline in Japanese imports of squid. Imports fell from 16 400 tonnes during the first quarter of 2015 to 15 200 tonnes during the same period in 2016 (-7.3%). Both the leading supplier, China, and the second largest supplier, Peru, shipped less squid to Japan during this period, while shipments from Chile went up by 300 tonnes (+27.2%).

Global squid supplies remain stable [July 2016]
The US National Fisheries Institute reported in January 2016 that it expects global squid supplies to remain stable in 2016. From 2000 to 2014, global annual squid landings varied between 2.7 million tonnes and 3.5 million tonnes. In 2014 and 2015 global landings were about 3.0 – 3.2 million tonnes annually. However, there has been a marked shift between the most important species. Particularly California market squid have seen strongly declining numbers.

US squid landings were quite high at around 145 000 tonnes in 2000, then declined more or less steadily to just under 60 000 tonnes in 2008, and shot up to over 150 000 tonnes in 2010. But since then, US landings have fallen off again, reaching only some 50 000 tonnes in 2015. Catches off California, which constitute about 85% of total US squid landings, have been the most negatively impacted.

US squid exports saw a corresponding decline, from almost 150 000 tonnes in 2011 to just under 80 000 tonnes in 2015. US imports, on the other hand, have been very stable around 70 000 tonnes for the last 6 years. It should be noted that while US exports are mainly whole squid, imports are mainly comprised of processed squid, sometimes re-imports of US raw material.
In Argentina, squid fishing began in early February, and by the middle of the month, a total of 64 joggers were participating. Yields were reported to be variable and the sizes caught were rather small, which is normal for this time of year.

In 2015, about 126 500 tonnes of illex squid were landed in Argentina, a 25% drop compared with 2014. This drop in illex squid landings contributed to the 4.2% fall in total seafood landings in Argentina in 2015. Of the total landings, about 95 000 tonnes of illex squid were exported. It is expected that both landings and exports will be somewhat higher in 2016. The Loligo squid season in Argentina started three weeks later (at the end of February), with 16 vessels participating in the fishery.

The Falklands (Malvinas) illex squid season also started in mid-February. According to FIS.com, a total of 105 licences had been issued, a number that has remained stable for the past few years. It is too early to predict any results yet, but in 2015 landings of Illex reached a record of 358 000 tonnes.
In Peru, there has been concern about the poor catches of giant squid (Dosidicus gigas) for some time, but it now seems that the catches are slowly improving.

Supplies of octopus have increased, and this has resulted in weaker prices on the main markets [July 2016]
Supplies of octopus improved significantly in 2015, and this is reflected in trade statistics. Japanese imports increased strongly during the first nine months of 2015, and this trend continued through the fourth quarter. Total octopus imports into Japan in 2015 amounted to 50 900 tonnes, up 27.6% compared with 2014. However, it should be noted that Japanese octopus imports were rather low in 2014, at 39 900 tonnes, compared with 58 400 tonnes in 2013. This was related to slow demand in 2914 as well as tighter supplies. As can be seen from the 2015 rising import trend, demand has recovered. The two major suppliers (Morocco and Mauritania) both increased shipments to Japan in 2015, while other suppliers experienced little change.

Spanish octopus imports also took a jump in 2015, from 46 900 tonnes in 2014 to 56 500 tonnes in 2015. Again, improved supplies from Mauritania and Morocco accounted for practically all of the increase, while the other suppliers remained level.

Over the years, a number of researchers have tried to achieve success in octopus farming, with varied results. Now, the Mariculture Experimental Station of the National Institute for Fisheries Research in Argentina has reported some success with their farming experiments. By the end of 2016, the researchers hope to have adult and juvenile specimens as well as eggs for acclimatization to captivity. At the same time, the Kanaloa Octopus Farm on Hawaii is working on experiments to rear octopus in an aquarium. The owners hope to be able to produce octopus for heman consumption soon.
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Version Française

Thursday 23 March 2017
Top Info


Fish Info Network Directors meet at Conxemar, Vigo
In October each year the Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture (Conxemar) organizes the International Frozen Seafood Exhibition in Vigo, Spain.

Back to back with this event Conxemar jointly holds an international conference together with FAO. This year the conference was dedicated to cephalopods, a group of molluscs that includes squids, cuttlefishes, and octopus. The conference also provides the backdrop for various side events such as the Vigo dialogue on decent work in fisheries and aquaculture, and the meeting of the Fish Info Network (FIN).
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