Port Elizabeth fishing harbour has only few boats moored this week as you can see by this photo taken on 15th September, 2016.
The South African Squid season is due to close on 18th October, so the majority of the specially built freezer boats are at sea with their bright lights and hand lines making the most of the last 4-weeks of catches. This second season of 2016 opened officially on 1st July amid stormy late winter seas. Catches were sporadic during July and most vessel came back with disappointing catches. August followed this trend and few vessels came back smiling. averages per boat for the 3-week trips were about 3 tons. For the 16 to 20 men on board this is poor pickings.
The second week of September has seen an increase with catch averages per boat increasing to around 8 tons. This is much needed, but with only 4-weeks left maybe too little too late.
Prices have increased in Europe, due to poor catches locally, similar poor Calamari catches in Scotland which has a similar species, and a continuing economic recovery that seems well underway in the developed countries of Southern continental Europe.