Bangkok (Thailand) VICTAM Conference Speech (2008)
Exploratory fishing for Krill commenced in the early 1960s with catch levels being initially low. Since early 1970s, Krill catches rose steadily from 19 700 tons in 1973/1974 to a peak of 528 000 tons in 1981/1982, then declined sharply until 1983-1984. Annual catch has stabilized around 100.000 tons (annual average) per season for the last 10 years. Very recently there has been resurgence on interest in fishing Krill, with the entry of new operators coming from Russia and Norway. Antarctic Krill fishery will then soon face a new growth curve, at a much faster pace compared the last three-decades’ slow move from low-unit catch not-efficient operations to high-catch efficient high-yield operations. Although the 2007/08 South Antarctic Krill fishing season notifications add 754 000 tons, we expect a probable tonnage close to 260 000 tons, even much less if some of the new projects are further delayed. If this last figure prevails, the total Krill meal and oil supply will be approximately 30 400 and 730 tons, respectively, for the season 2007/2008.
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