South Atlantic productivity

The South West Atlantic is a very productive part of the global ocean. This MODIS image from the Terra satellite shows the east coast of Argentina and the Falkland Islands. The ocean between is filled with swirls of lighter colour which are a plankton bloom along the continental shelf of South America.

NASA Modis Image of the South West Atlantic
Terra/MODIS Image captured 21 January 2015 14:00 UTC. FULL IMAGE LINK

The high plankton productivity means that there is food for the higher predators - and this region is famed as an extraordinarily rich squid fishing ground. In 2014 the fishery apparently took over 1/4 million tons of the squid Illex argentinus.

 The final report on the squid fishery in 2014 states that 61 jiggers caught a total of 147,439 tonnes of squid in 270 fishing trips, which were performed in over 5,360 working days, with a daily average catch of 26.1 tonnes.

In the area adjacent to the Argentine Sea more than 253,000 tonnes were caught, and around the Falkland Islands, the capture amounted to 288,000 tonnes of the cephalopod.

South Atlantic: “Fewer catches as illex squid season ends”

The NASA Earth Observatory team wrote a very good web page about the reason the fishery is so rich in 2013, and they showed how the squid boats can be seen easily by satellite.

Sout West Atlantic Chlorophyll
acquired March 1 - 31, 2012

In fact their blog post is so good it's not even worth me writing something else. You should go and read it!

 

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