squid; ilex, fishing; fishery
Falkland Islands, United Kingdom
Fishing for illex squid about 100 miles northwest of Stanley aboard Hsiang Fa No. 8, a Taiwanese squid jigger. The specialized boat uses 140 3,000-watt high-intensity lights to attract swarms of plankton, which the squid feed upon. The 124 jigging lines are reeled up and down about 180m with a jigging motion that attracts squid to barbed fluorescent lures. On a good day, they can bring in 56 metric tons of squid, which are sorted and put in a deep freezer at the bottom of the vessel. This is one of the largest squid fisheries in the world, with so many brightly illuminated boats at sea that it can be seen from space. The waters within the 200-mile limit are carefully managed by the government to keep them sustainable, and in 2019, fishing licenses brought in £14M, about half the income of the Falkland Islands, and illex squid are the top money earner.