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The quota system has been used by the largest fisheries across the world. It provides a reliable legal framework to companies, and enables them to plan long term activities.  The quota system allows operators to know before hand, what catch volumes they will have to manage industrial activities. Thus, investment, as well as company growth are encouraged, while undocumented employment is eliminated; control, of any kind, is easier and the whole fishing activity is more transparent. 

In Argentina, the Federal Fishery Law No. 24922 experienced a substantial modification when the “Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) Catch Management Regime” replaced the Olympic-access system. As a result, the management, supervision and control of applicable fishing permits were transformed.

The new measure, more rational for the sustainable exploitation of living resources of the sea, has restricted the old conception of the fishing permits, which are now linked to ITQs or to Catch Authorizations (CA) if the species has not been quotified. Fishing permits become authorizations granted to ships only to accede to the fishing grounds or fisheries, where authorization is required to actually exercise the fishing practice.

Individual Transferable Quota Catch Management Regime (CITC)
Fishing Resources Management Policy: Quotas and implementation of ITQ Catch Management Regime
Compilation of CFP decisions 2000-2009
ITQ Catch Management Regime - Implemented functional scheme
Technical description of estimates used for allocation of quotas
ITQ Catch Management specific regimes for:
Southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis)
Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)
longtail hake or Patagonian whiphake (Macruronus magellanicus)
Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi)
ITQ Catch Management Transfer Regime

An ITQ is a temporary grant from the State in favour of a holder of a fishing permit to catch a percentage of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of a particular species, as expressed in tonnes, on an annual basis. 

The Law also entitles CFP to provide the necessary rules and regulations in order to establish a management regime of fishing resources through the granting of catch quotas by species, by ship, by fishing areas and by fleet type. In the mean time, fishing permits include the authorization to exercise the fishing practice with respect to the species, and subject to the limits contained in the historical permit (before Law No. 24922 became effective).

Since 2000, CFP has been working on the creation of rules and regulations required to establish the ITQ regime, the implementation of which, closes a long process that started when Law No. 24922 was enacted.

During all these years, titles to the property of ships, as well as their fishing permits, were transferred, a situation that required adjustments and data updates until the effective ITQs were finally allocated. Moreover, as a temporary step, the CFP considered the allocation of Catch Authorizations for certain species a timely and necessary measure.

Thus, concerned parties got acquainted with a course of action that would be improved with the time and an efficient way of managing fisheries until ITQs will be actually implemented.

Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), Southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis), and longtail hake or Patagonian whiphake (Macruronus magellanicus) fisheries have been recently managed under this system, established by CFP, that share similarities with the ITQ Catch Regime. Allocated CAs have kept a ratio of proportionality with TAC. As a concept, CA is similar to ITQ as both allow the catch of a particular species within a concrete fishing practice. The difference essentially lies in the period of time.

CAs were also granted for Patagonian scallop (Zygochlamys patagonica), without prejudice that this species may be incorporated to the ITQ regime in the future, and for the so called “coastal variety”, assorted coastal species which were considered on a separate basis in the past and now are gathered into this fish group.

This valuable experience found a high consensus degree from the concerned parties that accepted CFP decisions.

In addition to the specific regulations about allocation of quotas and regime implementation, ITQs are subject to a management regime for each one of the species.

The following actions were performed in the quota-allocation process developed by CFP:

a) Determination to grant quotas for Southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis), Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), longtail hake or Patagonian whiphake (Macruronus magellanicus) and Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi) by virtue of the abundance and characteristics of said species and because it has been generally agreed that target species of high commercial value, and where fleets activities are more focused, must be prioritized.

b) Participation of fishing activity players in the discussion of the main relevant aspects of the quota-allocation process (i.e. authorities, research organizations, chambers):

  • Fishery Under secretariat Workshops on “Fishery management and Individual Catch Quotas” (1998/1999), including associated legal, regulatory, biological, technical and economic aspects.
  • PROMASPE (Fishing Sustainable Management Program) Seminars (2000/2001) about “Changing from an Olympic system into an ITQ Management System”.
  • CFP workshops including simulation exercises about ITQ regime implementation (2006).

In addition to the workshops and seminars, groups of delegates were organized to travel to other countries where ITQs regimes had already been implemented, such as for instance, Canada (1998) and Island (2006).

c) Obtainment and publication of information required for the consolidation of databases and allocation of ITQs, within the framework of Law No.  24.922, including the following data:

  • Legal historic catch of the four species (1989-1996) (Resolution CFP 23/2001, Resolution CFP 2/2002, Resolution SAGPyA 258/2003).
  • Manual labour employed in 1996 and 1999, global investment in 1989-1996, and production, by species, in the same period. (Resolutions CFP 4/2000, 4/2002, as amended).
  • Penalties.

d) Analysis, depuration and consolidation of the database generated from information gathered under the above mentioned provisions.

e) Design and creation of a system for allocating quotas; review of different methodologies and models to treat allocation parameters, as established by law (legal catch, manual labour, investment and production) by type of fleet and /or fishing areas.

f) Establishment of a General ITQ Catch Management Regime (Resolution CFP No. 2/2001 updated by Resolution CFP No.10/2009):

  • In addition to individual quotas, the regime provides Management and Conservation reserves, Artisanal and Recreational quotas.
  • The ITQ Catch Management Regime authorizes the catch of a particular species, as provided in the general regime and in the specific species regime. Additionally, authorization is required for applicable jurisdictions, and general rules must also be complied with.
  • Effective ITQ concession period is 15 years from the effective date of each specific regime.
  • Exercise of catch rights granted under the ITQ Regime is subject to the payment of a Unique Extraction Duty.
  • No individual or legal entity or corporate group will be able to accumulate ITQs beyond the total percentage set forth in the specific ITQ regimes.
  • ITQs will be totally or partially divisible and transferable, either temporarily or finally, under the general conditions set by CFP. A Transfer Duty will be paid for each transfer and will be deposited in the National Fishery Fund.
  •  The initial allocation of ITQs will favour individuals or companies who are holders of one or more fishing permits, as recorded in the Fishing Registry, in accordance with the procedure set by CFP for each species.

g) To conclude the process, the implementation of the ITQ Regime by species was decided, within the framework of the management policy of fishing resources, and transcribed into Minutes CFP Nº 49/2009.

h) In this connection, specific ITQ regimes were approved for Southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis), Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), longtail hake or Patagonian whiphake (Macruronus magellanicus) and Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi) - (Resolutions CFP Nos. 20/2009, 21/2009, 22/2009 and 23/2009). Since 1999 the Argentine hake, had been managed under a Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 189/1999. But now a Resolution by SAGyP (Secretariat of Agriculture, Cattle Farming ad Fishing) returned the management of this species to the CFP.

i) Approval of ITQ Catch Management Regime (Resolution CFP No. 24/2009).

Federal Fishery Council
Humberto Primo 133 - 5º Piso
C1063ACW – City of Buenos Aires - Republic of Argentina
Telephone (54) 4361-5830 / 4361-5833
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