Barcelona – Today, at Seafood Expo Global, the Argentine Chamber of Jigger Fishing Vessels Shipowners (Camara de armadores de poteros argentinos – CAPA) and a group of six international squid buyers signed a joint collaborative framework agreement. With this MoU, CAPA recognizes the support provided by the companies during the preparatory process to launch the FIP for Argentine Shortfin Squid. The MoU will allow these companies to become full members of the FIP for the first year, in efforts to bring more sustainable products to European and US retailers.
“We are committed to the FIP. We want to differentiate Argentine squid from the rest that is deployed in the South Atlantic, and be able to enter the retail system of all the supermarkets that we cannot today – and above all, that our fishing grounds become more sustainable every day,” said Juan Redini, president of CAPA.
The FIP is led by CAPA, an industry association representing the Argentine fishing fleet that operates throughout Argentina’s EEZ. It is the only western fleet that uses jigs for catching shortfin squid.
“At Panapesca we are always interested in everything that has to do with squid around the world. Illex from Argentina is now one of our most important items, and we want to be there to level up for more sustainable fishing,“ said Stefano Pagliai, the procurement director of Panapesca USA and member of the Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable.
The parties committed to launching the new FIP seek to improve the sustainability of the squid fishery within Argentina’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and eventually achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. In March, CAPA unveiled the work plan for the Argentine 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.
“A very important step has been taken. We wanted this for a long time for squid in Argentina and to advance our sales in the European market, so it is a big step for us,” said Ana Fernández, cephalopods purchasing manager at Cabomar.
The squid buyers present at the signing of the agreement included Congalsa, Cabomar, Alfrío, and Panapesca USA. The MoU will be sent to Sysco France and Lund’s Fisheries for their signature, which will finalize bringing the six companies into the FIP.
“Working with committed producers and companies that share similar views and goals for sustainability is an important step to ensure a healthy future for one of the most important squid resources globally,” said SFP’s EU markets director Carmen Gonzalez-Valles. “This new FIP is an important step forward for the squid sector, and it is crucial that retailers are supportive of the work.”
The FIP is currently prospective, aiming to meet the requirements for active FIPs before the end of 2022. SFP is actively supporting CAPA to move the FIP to an active status as soon as possible.
The shortfin squid fishery is one of the largest squid fisheries 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.