Boston, MA – Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the Argentine Chamber of Jigger Fishing Vessels Shipowners (Camara de armadores de poteros argentinos – CAPA) launched a new fishery improvement project (FIP) for Argentine shortfin squid (Illex argentinus) today at Seafood Expo North America.

CAPA and SFP unveiled the workplan for the Argentina Shortfin Squid – jig FIP at a meeting of SFP’s Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR), a pre-competitive industry group of squid importers and buyers that has been supporting establishment of the FIP.

“The Argentine shortfin squid is one of the most important squid fisheries in the world, with product sold globally,” said SFP’s EU Markets Director Carmen Gonzalez-Valles. “This new FIP is an important step forward for the future sustainability of the stock and will be a key force for mobilizing other stakeholders in the region.”

The FIP seeks to improve the sustainability of the squid fishery within the waters of Argentina’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and to eventually achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. The FIP participants are working with a fisheries expert to design a five-year action plan to address weaknesses identified in a recent MSC pre-assessment of the fishery.

“At CAPA, we see this FIP as the only possible way forward, and we are committed to leading it,” said CAPA President Juan Redini. “We also hope that markets in the US and EU join us in this endeavor by recognizing our efforts.”

The shortfin squid fishery is the second-largest squid fishery in the world, with squid distributed in the southwest Atlantic, from Brazil to southern Argentina and the Falkland Islands, and east to the high seas. The new FIP is led by CAPA, an industry association representing the Argentine fishing fleet that operates throughout Argentina’s EEZ. CAPA’s members include 32 companies, representing 66 fishing vessels and 90 percent of Argentina’s shortfin squid catch. The Argentine fleet is the only western fleet that uses jigs for catching shortfin squid.

The FIP is currently prospective, aiming to meet the requirements for active FIPs within one year. SFP is actively supporting CAPA to move the FIP to active status as soon as possible.