The Curious Case of the Green Bag – by Mike Manson

Back in early November at about the time of the first big winter gale, Keeper and I were beachcombing the morning after and found a green bag on the beach, right in front of our house and it seemed the bag was meant to be found by me. It was as big as an onion sack and had the word ‘SQUID’ on it, 20 kgs worth. The bag was empty which I expected, but it got more interesting when I turned the bag over. According to the bag these squid were none other than Illex Argentinus, a squid that apparently is caught only in the southwest Atlantic along the coast of Argentina!

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Upon further inspection I discovered names of ships on the label and it appeared they were responsible for this particular catch. The 101 Insung, the 703 Insung, the 705 and 707 Insung. Country of origin stated Korea. A google search of Insung confirmed this is a fishing company based in Korea with headquarters in a number of cities, including this bag being associated with the Busan office.

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To me it seemed odd the bag would be the package used for marketing the final product to the consumer. Why would the consumer need to know the name of the boat that caught the squid? Could this bag have fallen off the fishing boat itself and drifted around Cape Horn and all the way up the coasts of South and North America to end up on our little island?

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I emailed Won-Young Seo, the General Manager of the Public Sales Dept in Busan, to see if I could get some answers. After two weeks and no reply I assume I am not going to get a response, they probably think I am an undercover agent cracking down on polluters of the oceans!

So go back to Google and a search for maps showing ocean currents to see if it is possible for something to float from the Falklands to our shores.

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And alas, this map makes it pretty clear, the bag didn’t float here from the southwest Atlantic. But it is possible it floated over from Korea. The bag has an expiry date of 2014 so could have been floating around for a few years. Or maybe this bag was jettisoned overboard by some unknown polluter who had just finished off the last of the 20kgs of Illex Argentinus!

Further research showed these vessels are currently fishing off the coast of Argentina. It is incredible the information that can be tracked down via the Internet. The Insung fleet goes by the name of Amor.

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Mike Manson
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