Argentine hoki — Marine Stewardship Council
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Argentine hoki

Last Updated: 25 August 2016

MSC status

Certified as sustainable in May 2012. Entered re-assessment August 2016. 


Species:  Hoki (Macruronus magellanicus)
South West Atlantic, within the Argentine Territorial waters (FAO statistical area 41)
Fishing methods:  Industrial bottom trawl net and Industrial semi-pelagic trawl net.
Number of fisheries: 1

More about Hoki

Hoki is a species that is widely distributed on the continental shelf of Argentina, approximately between the 35° and 56° S latitude.However, commercial concentrations of the species are distributed more significantly south of 46° S latitude between the isobaths of 50 and 200 m . The general concentration distribution North 48° LS goes deeper to 170 mtrs, by the influence of Falklands Current. South 48ᵒ LS goes deeper than 50mtrs following the inner Patagonian current near the coast of the Province of Santa Cruz to Golfo San Jorge and the inner arm of Falklands Current.

The maximum estimated age is 13 years, although such long-lived individuals are rare in catches. Individuals grow rapidly during the first three years, reaching almost 50% of asymptotic length at the end of that period. The estimated growth parameters suggest significant differences between sexes.  Diet of hoki in the Southwest Atlantic is composed mainly by amphipods hyperiid, more frequent near the coast, and secondarily by euphausiids, which contribution increases importance towards the the platform edge. The main hoki competitors as zooplankton eaters, are the SBW Southern Blue Whiting, and the common Hake.

More about the fishing methods

Four fleets target Patagonian hoki in Argentinean waters: (1) ice chilled vessels; (2) hake freezers vessels; (3) factory freezer vessel; (4) surimi freezer vessel.  The freezer trawler fleet consists of vessels ranging from 29 to 118 m operating bottom and semipelagic trawls nets. Ships have processing plants with capacity of freezing (in tunnels and plates) and cameras to maintain the frozen products.The gear used is mainly the bottom trawl; those specialized in hoki use semi pelagic trawls, which are more appropiate for hoki. All trawl vessels in Argentina are required to have nets with a minimum mesh size of 120 mm between opposite knots

Fishery tonnage

The 2008 landings of hoki was 110,267 mt.

Commercial market

Products derived from these fisheries are not widely distributed in Argentina where there is little consumption of Hoki, Most of the production is exported. A few supermarkets offer a sub-product called kanikama in the local market. Some fishing vessels produce surimi on board which is mostly sold in Japan; although a local surimi processing plant in Puerto Deseado produces crab imitation.

Actual eligibility date

11 October 2011

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