Argentina is preparing a battery of instruments to attack the Falklands fisheries and involved fishing companies with the purpose of 'strangling the economy' of the Islands thus forcing the UK to sit and dialogue on South Atlantic Islands sovereignty, according to a piece by La Nacion columnist Martín Dinatale.
Under these premises the Foreign ministry is working on the regulation of the fisheries bill to apply hefty fines to those companies which benefit from fishing simultaneously in the 'Argentine Sea' as in South Atlantic waters under dispute with the UK, writes Dinatale who reveals that the administration of President Cristina Fernandez has been encouraged by the success of its pressure policy on the Falklands' oil industry.
The strategy is to sanction fishing companies that operate on both seas or have a double society structure or have a shares' triangulation which allows them to exploit fishing resources both in Argentine and Malvinas waters.
This will be backed with increased patrolling in South Atlantic waters plus legal searches to determine the society structure of the fishing companies.
Pressure on the oil companies gave good results because the UK government reacted nervously and this has encouraged us to put pressure on fishing companies according to an official from the Ministry of Agriculture working at the foreign ministry in the new strategy.
Dinatale mentions other sources which explicitly point out that the objective of the Argentine government is to make fishing companies abandon the Falklands' waters and complicate the lives of Islanders.
According to those sources the fishing industry in the Falklands represents 60% of GDP, 40 million dollars in licenses which means that over 150 fishing vessels operate in the waters surrounding Malvinas. Annual catch in occupied Malvinas waters is estimated in 200.000 tons, of which 70%, squid.
Attacking the fisheries activities with fiscal threats and fines is the Argentine government immediate strategy, said Government House sources (Casa Rosada).
And this despite the fact it could lead to some diplomatic problems with third countries, since in Malvinas and Argentine waters operate vessels flagged in Spain, Ireland, South Korea, China and Japan among others.
Dinatale explains that the new strategy, to advance on the Malvinas economy to force UK to sit and talk about sovereignty is intimately linked to the naming of Daniel Filmus as head of the special Malvinas Secretariat, since he is considered an 'active militant' of the Malvinas cause.
This was confirmed in an interview with The Guardian published this week in which Filmus said his main job will be to look after Argentina's assets such as fisheries and hydrocarbons in the Argentine Sea. The former senator also advanced that he would be involved in the regulation of the fisheries bill and plans a round of meetings with Latin American and Caribbean countries to ensure further support for Argentina's Malvinas position.
Imposing fines on fishing companies has the support from the congressional opposition, which for years has been demanding that the fisheries bill explicitly bans companies with Argentine licenses from having an economic, commercial or benefit links with companies or vessels operating in Malvinas without Argentine permission.
Apparently resolution 514/09 had a 'catch word' which was 'direct' links, and this will be erased from the ruling on which Filmus and his team are working.