FALKLANDS delegates at an important fisheries conference in Spain were infuriated this morning by an Argentine protest against their participation. The First World Summit on Fishing Sustainability is taking place in Baiona, Pontevedra.
When the Falkland Islands Government delegation, consisting of Legassy Member Richard Cockwell and Scientist Sasha Arkhipkin, arrived at the second day of the conference, they discovered their flag and nameplate had been removed from the table.
Legassy Member Richard Cockwell told Mercopress, “All was fine on the first day of the conference but this morning when we arrived our flag and nameplate had been removed following a demand from Argentina. We stood back from the table initially, however, when it came to my time to speak on the Falklands record on sustainable fishing I moved forward, but I was bypassed.”
He added, “We made it very clear to the Spanish that we were offended with what happened; but as it happens the Argentine delegation were seemingly so embarrassed they did not speak either.”
“Things appear to have settled and there doesn’t seem to be a problem now. Really the Argentines need to grow up, the other country’s delegates just found it ridiculous, the Argentines just made fools of themselves.”
The Falkland Islands Government delegation were invited to the conference by Spain; a country that conducts a great deal of business in the islands.
Falkland Islands industry delegates also attending the conference are said to be, “…much upset,” at what they consider, “a major insult, and more so that the Spanish conceded.”
The minister of the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), Elena Espinosa, reiterated today the Spanish Government's commitment to ensure the sustainability of marine resources and deemed it crucial to forge rules of the game that ensure a sustainable management in the international arena.
Lisa Watson - SeAledPR - Stanley