China’s fishing fleet hunts for new oceans to target, squid is becoming the new substitute

Seagulls wheel and cry around the Caleta Portales fishing pier in the Chilean port of Valparaiso while sea lions loiter in the waves. The fishermen hoist their boats out of the water, untangle a paltry catch from their nets and trudge off for a political strategy meeting in a dark room lit only by a PowerPoint presentation. Nearby, a line of white banners bear a defiant message in red block letters: “NO to industrial squid trawling!” ,,, Squid is taking the place of declining stocks. In Valparaiso, artisanal fishermen operating out of Caleta Portales rely on squid for about half of their income. And the carts now sell enchiladas stuffed with squid, which locals call loco de los pobres, or “poor man’s loco”. Even Corpesca, the nation’s largest fishing conglomerate, has moved into the game. Chilean fishermen were outraged in 2012 when the revised fisheries law gave Corpesca a permanent quota for 20 per cent of the squid catch. “Other species have collapsed so these ships and technology are being applied to squid,” Mr Fuentes says. “Squid is becoming a new option.” Read the article, click here 13:57