Sardines catch drops so prices rise

The average price of sardines in the auction market in Portimão increased by just over 165% as a result of a substantial fall of 60% in the quantity caught in Algarve waters last year, according to details released by Docapesca.

In the rest of the Algarve, prices also showed an upward trend with the exception of Vila Real de Santo António.

Between January and November 2012, the transaction of sardines caught and sold by auction in the region amounted to 2,900 tons which was over 50% less than the same period in 2011.

Despite the decline in the volume of sardines caught, fishermen have succeeded in securing a healthy income due to the price rise.

Last year, the sale of sardines netted €6.4 million compared to €5.6 million in 2011.

The Portimão auction market sold the most (1,200 tons) at an average price which jumped from just under one euro per kilo in 2011 to €2.50 in 2012, with a total revenue of €3.1 million.

Throughout the rest of the region, only Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António registered an increase in sales volume.

In the other markets, the decline in quantity amounted to between 20% and 100% and the average price per kilo rose between 63% and 165% except Vila Real de Santo António with 29%.

Algarvean fishermen, however, doubled the catch of mackerel in 2012, pulling in just over 8,000 tons. The Olhão market accounted for 70% of the total sales in the region, with 5,800 tons, while Quarteira dealt with 1,700 tons.

The sale of mackerel in the Algarve last year amounted to €2.5 million at an average price of between €0.29 and €0.81 per kilo – higher than 2011 with the exception of Quarteira and Vila Real de Santo António.