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Montevideo, February 21st 2019 - 23:04 UTC

Arrested Korean jigger arrives in Mar del Plata

Saturday, March 11th 2006 - 21:00 UTC
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A Korean jigger supposedly poaching in Argentine waters arrived Saturday afternoon in Mar del Plata del Plata escorted by the Argentine Navy corvette Guerrico.

According to an Argentine Navy release "Kum Yang 102" was sighted operating 197 miles offshore Peninsula Valdes by an Orion P3 aircraft which then contacted the corvette.

Apparently the sighting took place Thursday afternoon and the arrest was done midnight in adverse weather conditions with 55 miles gales.

Captain Hector Varela from Guerrico said that although the Korean jigger did not resist the arrest it turned the lights off and tried to dump most of the squid overboard.

"They tried to dump the squid overboard but we managed to recover some samples as evidence", said Captain Varela.

Argentine authorities must now decide whether the Korean jigger committed an offense or was infringing the Fisheries law, which is a more serious crime entailing a heavy fine and auctioning of the cargo and fishing equipment.

Officials are also trying to determine if "Kum Yang 102", which is registered with the Korean Deep Sea Fisheries Association, was licenced by the Falkland Islands government.

This is the second Korean jigger arrested by Argentina this season. Last February 13, "77 Doo An" was allegedly surprised catching squid in the very edge of Argentina's EEZ and was later proved to be effectively licenced by the Falklands' government. The jigger "77 Doo An" is also registered with KDSFA.

Argentine authorities revealed that "77 Doo An" has been operating in the South Atlantic since 1994 and on several occasions called in at Mar del Plata.

Meantime the Falklands' flagged "John Cheek" which was arrested February 20, remains retained in Comodoro Rivadavia awaiting legal procedures to begin. The Argentine Coast Guard Accused "John Cheek" of operating inside Argentina's EEZ, but the captain strongly denies the charge.

There is growing pressure in Argentina to pursue and punish those companies whose vessels are licenced to operate both in Falklands and Argentina waters, arguing they "are ignoring legitimate sovereignty claims over Falklands/Malvinas".

Categories: Mercosur.

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