Councillor R. Edwards no longer linked to Pardelhas
Falkland Islands Councillor Roger Edwards has resigned as director of the Pardelhas Fishing Company, which has been involved in a two-year legal wrangle involving crewmembers who have refused to leave their vessels in Punta Arenas.
Speaking to FIBS, (Falkland Islands Broadcasting Station), Councilor Edwards said that financial reasons were behind his decision to end his company Meredith's involvement in the joint venture Pardelhas Fishing Company. The main partners of the company are from Portugal.
Company secretary Kevin Kilmartin also stood down.
FIBS reports that when "News Direct" enquired last Thursday early morning as to the role of the two, Registrar General John Rowland confirmed that they were both still officially in their positions with the company.
However Mr. Kilmartin indicated he had sent off a letter of resignation last November but it had obviously not yet been lodged.
On a follow up call later that morning, Mr. Rowland confirmed that he had received mid-morning the resignation documents for the two, dated 28 November, 2003.
However, Councilor Edwards and Mr. Kilmartin declined to further comment on the matter.
Some crewmembers have been on the "Pardelhas" and the "Almourol" for two years after what they allege were unjustified redundancies. They are also claiming a two year arrears payment against the company.
According to the Punta Arenas press they are said to be living in terrible conditions on board and MercoPress has reported that they have gained the support of Punta Arenas authorities and local unions in their fight against the Pardelhas Fishing Company..
The captain of the "Pardelhas", Roberto Dassé, has argued that the mostly Peruvian crewmembers were fired last year when they didn't show up.
Punta Arenas press reported that there are hopes the case could be on the brink of resolution, after the Peruvian consulate sent a legal counselor to Punta Arenas to work on the case.
The abandoned Pardelhas which lays listed and grounded in Punta Arenas harbour area is still registered as a Falklands flagged vessel.