CFL was set up in 1994 as a consortium of local fishing companies to carry out exploratory fishing in the nascent toothfish fishery. The Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (FIFD) considered that the fishery represented a prime opportunity for local businesses to pool resources to establish the very first locally owned, managed and operated fishing company. Following the experiment FIFD established a 2-vessel fishery and awarded both licenses to Consolidated Fisheries Ltd.
In 2007, an Individual Transferable Quota system was introduced and CFL were awarded the full quota for the toothfish fishery in the Islands for 25 years. Initially quota was set at 1,200 mt and CFL was able to reduce its fleet to a single vessel. Since then, the quota has been reduced to 1,040 mt which is all caught by a single vessel.
CFL is now one of the largest fishing companies in the Falkland Islands and contributes significantly to the local economy through both its fishing and non-fishing activities.
Its principle product is Patagonian Toothfish, which it sells to the international market as HGT (Headed, Gutted and Tailed) and as sub products such as collars and cheeks. It also produces toothfish portions and grenadier fillets for the local market.
CFL’s new Longliner, the CFL Hunter, built by Nodosa Shipyard, was launched in Marin, Spain in July 2016 and in 2017 it replaced the CFL Gambler, the company’s flagship vessel since March 2004. The construction of the Hunter marked a major milestone in the history of CFL and the Falkland Islands as the CFL Hunter is the first vessel ever built solely with Falkland Islands’ capital. The CFL Hunter incorporates systems that not only enhance its fishing capability but also mitigate environmental impacts. With the CFL Hunter we have moved from Freon to CO2 as a refrigerant, this has less impact in global warming. The vessel has diesel-electrical propulsion, it lets the vessel work with the minimum of power requirements required in all situations and by doing so, saves fuel and increases energy efficiency. Very special attention was paid to avoid both noise and vibrations in the accommodation and working areas as much as possible; this allows the Vessel to have a very low acoustic signature providing a high level of comfort to the crew and making it less attractive to natural predators such as orcas. Other characteristics to be considered are the measures taken to mitigate seabird mortality and to better manage discards and waste on board, all of which contribute to making the vessel one of the most ecologically beneficial in Falklands waters.