56.6% of fresh fish landings were by Gozitan fishermen
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Fish landings in the fourth quarter of 2009 amounted to 257,857 kilograms, an increase of 17.7 per cent over the comparative period the previous year. This increase was mostly attributed to higher landings in one of the major species, Dorado (+60.1 per cent). In comparison to the corresponding quarter in 2008, the significant increase was recorded in November 2009. A drop in Swordfish landings (-65.2 per cent) was registered when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2008. This decrease was mainly due to the enforcement of a closed season for swordfish fishing in the Mediterranean. The wholesale value of fresh fish landings decreased by 17.1 per cent, or €172,302, to €837,946 in the fourth quarter of 2009. The decline was mainly the result of a drop in the unit price of Dorado due to the abundant catch for this species.
The period under review revealed that fresh fish landings by Gozitan fishermen represented 56.6 per cent of the total landings, an increase of 13.0 percentage points over the corresponding quarter in 2008. This was also primarily due to the spike in the volume of Dorado landings (+62.2 per cent). In the fourth quarter of 2009, the wholesale value of landings by Gozitan fishermen amounted to €318,201, 11.5 per cent higher when compared to the corresponding period in 2008.
Maltese fishermen landed 107,745 kilograms of fresh fish, a drop of 9.7 per cent over the comparative period in 2008. Notable declines were recorded in Swordfish (-65.0 per cent) and Dog-fish (-53.7 per cent). These declines were partially mitigated by an increase in Dorado landings. The wholesale value of fish landings by Maltese fishermen decreased by €210,118 (-29.8 per cent) when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2008. During this period, the average price per kilogram for Dorado declined by 38.1 per cent. On the other hand, the average price per kilogram for Bogue increased by 31.0 per cent on account of lower landings.
Foreign vessel landings
During the quarter under review, foreign-flagged vessels landed a total of 4,247 kilograms, 2.1 per cent more over the comparative period in 2008. The wholesale value also registered an increase of 24.7 per cent, from €19,957 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to €24,878 in the corresponding period last year. Fresh fish landings by foreign-flagged vessels accounted for 1.6 per cent of the total catch.
The quarterly ‘All Items’ fresh fish price index for the fourth quarter of 2009 stood at 90.36 points, down by 8.42 points (-8.5 per cent) over the comparative period in 2008. The increase in the supply of fresh fish was reflected in the quarterly ‘All Items’ fresh fish volume index, which stood at 77.15 points, reflecting a gain of 11.62 points or 17.7 per cent increase in the fourth quarter of 2009.