The Capture of the Sea Snail Is One of the Few Fishing Successes in Cuba

The sought-after sea snail of Camagüey is reserved for export

Capture of sea snail specimens in Camagüey / Adelante

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 25 June 2024 — The sea snail of Camagūey is exempt from the disastrous panorama presented by fishing in Cuba. The colorful and sought-after giant snail is reserved exclusively for export. That, at least, is evident from a praiseworthy article published on Saturday in the official press Adelante, which said that the plan of the Basic Business Unit (UEB) Pesca Nuevitas was fulfilled by 96%. It is a “meritorious” result, Adelante commends, taking into account that they only had 30% of the expected fuel and that there was bad weather in December, “causes that demanded greater effort on the part of the collective.” The lack of oil was precisely what caused the paralysis of sea snail fishing last year.

The task of the UEB, as specified to the local newspaper by Gerardo Izquierdo Rodríguez, head of Fisheries Operations, is to capture the precious mollusk , clean it and send it for processing to the Industrial Fisheries Company of Santa Cruz del Sur (Episur), in the same province, which is also responsible for its export.

State companies plan to “gradually venture” into the export of lobster, sea cucumber and sea sponge

This coming October, he continued, they will begin a new plan, until the following month of April, “with the benefit of having high level technical capabilities in the vessels.”

State companies, the official continued, plan to “gradually venture” into the export of lobster, sea cucumber and sea sponge, all products that, when marketed within the Island, are for international tourism.

In the case of lobster, they already have permission to capture three tons, an order that they will begin to fulfill in July. For sea cucumber and sea sponge, they plan to transfer specialists and biologists to the areas where they exist, “to study and propose the amount to be extracted without violating the standards of sustainable fishing.”

These are endangered marine animals, whose fishing and consumption are prohibited for individuals, but which can provide, as Izquierdo Rodríguez acknowledged in Adelante, “the collection of foreign exchange for the national economy.”

These are endangered marine animals, whose fishing and consumption are prohibited for individuals

Other areas of the fishing sector are not so lucky. An example is the fishing company of Las Tunas, Pescatun, which last week made news again due to its disastrous production. Having a target of 2,025 tons of fish by 2024, so far this year it has barely achieved a quarter of the catch plan.

It is not strange, if you take into account that of the 22 boats that make up the Pescatun fleet, only half are in working order.

Similarly, the calamitous state of fishing forced the State, last March, to allow private fishermen to freely sell their catch, except for lobster. The measure had already been provisionally approved a year earlier, but in that period there was no improvement in production. In fact, according to data from the Ministry of Food, fish consumption fell in Cuba from an annual average of 18 kilograms per person three decades ago to less than 3.8 kilograms in 2022.

Another example of a fishing disaster is that of the Zaza dam, in Sancti Spíritus, which has lowered the volume of water to critical levels due to the drought, forcing fishermen to make a frenetic catch, which will have a long-term impact on the quantities of fish that the reservoir can offer.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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