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Penguin News Update

Friday, September 9th 2005 - 21:00 UTC
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Headlines:
Argentine annoyance at Falklands fishing law; £40,000 fines for Quark /Freiremar; Shellfish back on the menu; Digital Journal;
End of an era with Marianne Danica's final call.

End of an era with Marianne Danica's final call

THE arrival of the charter vessel Marianne Danicain Stanley on Wednesday evening signaled the end of an era for the Falkland Islands Company Ltd (FIC). The vessel's visit was the last trip solely chartered by the FIC's freight service, Darwin Shipping Ltd. From now on, Darwin Shipping will bring freight to the Falklands in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence's shipping service. The decision to work with the MoD ships was made, the FIC said in June, in an effort to "combat the impacts of escalating fuel and charter costs on freight rates."

Argentine annoyance at Falklands fishing law

NEW fishing legislation passed in the Falklands has reportedly prompted the Argentine government to prepare a series of measures "to discourage and eventually sanction" companies who own long-term licences to fish in Falklands waters. Legislative Council approved long term property rights last month as part of the new Falkland Islands fishing law. Buenos Aires-based newspaper Clarinyesterday reported that officials from the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, "...the political decision to act against the unilateral move from the Islands, although they did not wish to reveal the detail." An article written by Adriana Ruffa which appeared on the website Pesca y Puertocalled for Argentina to denounce the "British presumption to grant rights over fisheries resources which it does not own." She continues, "...at the same time all companies must be warned that Argentina does not, nor will it recognise licences, concessions or property rights issued by the occupying government on the Islands." She urges, "A system of legal safeguards which discourages those potentially interested in exploiting the Malvinas (sic) fisheries resources - some of whom will certainly have substantial interests on the continent - must be laid down by law. An instrument such as this would clear up the future as it would be the best way to convince the islanders that they cannot do anything without a good relationship with Argentina..." Responding to Ms Ruffa's report, Councillor John Birmingham said, such articles "go no way" towards "helping build a mature and responsible relationship between the Falkland Islands and Argentina." He said he had no concerns about the legality of the Fisheries Bill passed by Legislative Council last month and added, "We have the full support of the British Government and I take no notice of flimflam written in the Argentine press." As for the concept that Argentina could penalise companies that fish in Falklands waters by banning them from Argentine waters, Councillor Birmingham commented, "They have jurisdiction over their own territory of which clearly the Falkland Islands are not a part." However, he added, "If they choose to behave in an old fashioned, third world way, and punish private companies for actions those companies take overseas, it just shows the present Argentine government for what it is." A fishery source said such moves as suggested by Ms Ruffa would be unlikely to punish Falkland Islands companies directly; instead, foreign companies with links in the Falklands would be more likely to be affected.

£40,000 fines for Quark /Freiremar

TWO fishing companies have each been fined £40,000 for exceeding the quota on a licence to fish in South Georgia waters. In July Quark Fishing Ltd, a Falkland Islands company, and its Spanish partners Freiremar SA were found guilty of breaching licence conditions by exceeding quota in the valuable Patagonian toothfish fishery of South Georgia. The charge related to the use of the Spanish-flagged vessel, Ibsa Quinto.Also in July, Quark was found guilty on a further matter, that as owner of the Falklands-flagged vessel Jacqueline, they failed to comply with a licence condition relating to the minimisation of seabird mortality in the course of longline fishing. For this offence, the company was yesterday fined £2,500. Falklands councillor, Mike Summers, is the Managing Director of Quark Ltd and was present during yesterday's proceedings. In issuing the penalties for the offence relating to the Ibsa Quinto,the Senior Magistrate, Clare Faulds, said she did not agree with the defence's submission that the catch weighing procedure carried out by the Government of South Georgia was a mitigating factor. Although she accepted there had been no attempt to conceal the over catch of approximately 15 tonnes, Mrs. Faulds said nevertheless, "... an overcatch there was." She acknowledged the financial suffering Quark and Freiremar have experienced as a result of being refused a licence for 2005 and set the fine at £40,000 each. Continued on page 3

Shellfish back on the menu

FALKLANDS oysters and mussels will be back on sale in the shops again this weekend, after tests for toxins proved negative. The Senior Veterinary Officer, Steve Pointing, this week confirmed three successive negative tests on samples submitted for analysis for the most important shellfish toxins and added, "The results obtained locally have been confirmed by further testing in an approved overseas laboratory." Testing will continue on a regular basis during the remainder of the winter and spring period and will be carried out more frequently during late spring and into summer when the risk of algal blooms increases with higher sea water temperatures. Mr Pointing assured the public will be informed "immediately" if any test result shows cause for concern. A clear result has also been received in listeria testing of milk from Stanley Dairy. However, the Chief Medical Officer said, "Ideally we need four successive negative weeks before ?at risk' people can start drinking unpasteurised and unboiled milk."

Digital Journal

ALMOST thirty years of reference material contained in The Falkland Islands Journalhas been produced on CD by a Stanley company. At a launch party held last night, Nikki Buxton of Synergy Information Systems Ltd. officially launched the digitisation of The Falkland Islands Journal from 1967 to today. Full story on page 3

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