A total of 83,325 kilograms of fish were landed during March quarter 2006. The volume increased by 18,297 kilograms (+28.1 per cent) when compared to the 65,028 kilograms landed in the same period last year.
The wholesale value increased by Lm24,760 (+17.0 per cent), from Lm 145,906 recorded in the first quarter of 2005 to Lm170,666 in the first quarter this year.
The increase in volume was a result of an increase in dorado landings, which increased by 130.0 per cent from 10,060 kilograms in the first quarter of 2005 to 23,134 kg in the first quarter this year and swordfish landings which increased by 14.5 per cent from 8,244kg in the first quarter last year to 9,436 kg in the first quarter this year. On the other hand, the landings of Stone Bass were down by 29.9 per cent, from 4,178 kilograms in the first quarter last year to 2,930 kg in March quarter 2006.
The volume of Maltese fishermen's landings increase by 1.6 per cent from 48,583kg in March Quarter 2005 to 37,374 kg in the first quarter this year.
Although increases of swordfish (+20.8 per cent) and bogue (+31.5 per cent) landings were recorded, there were drops in Shrimp (-29.8 per cent), stone bass (-25.0 per cent) and dorado (-73.8 per cent) landings during the period covered by this report.
The increase in volume brought an increase of Lm10,541 (+4.7 per cent) in the wholesale value of landings which increased from Lm 118,085 in the first quarter of 2005 to Lm123,626 in the first quarter this year. Responsible for this increase were the larger volume of landings of Swordfish and Bogue. Maltese fishermen's share of the total landings amounted to 59.3 per cent, down by 15.5 per cent when compared to the corresponding period last year.
During the first quarter, Gozitan fishermen landed a total of 30,735 kg of fish. Shrimp and dorado were the main contributors to the increase of 14,290 kg (+86.9 per cent) over last year's landings which stood at 16,445 kg. Dorado landings increased by 17,596kg (+454.2 per cent) from 3,874 kg in the first quarter of 2005 to 21,470 kg in the first quarter this year. The volume of Dorado landings accounted for 69.86 per cent of all landings by Gozitan fishermen.
During the first quarter, foreign flagged vessels landed a total of 3,216 kilograms valued at Lm6,993.
While the fish price index for the month of March stood at 121.78, up 7.13 points (+6.2 per cent) from 114.65 points in March 2005, the volume index decreased by 6.36 points
(-28.9 per cent) from 21.98 points in March 2005 to 15.62 points in March 2006.