Merry Christmas!; High seas fishing: agreement needed; Argentine families meet new ambassador; Sports on the web; Seasonal cruisers; Arrest after vehicle fire; Smith trial in February.
PHOTO : India Clarke receives a Christmas gift from Santa Claus. The red-suited man called in to Rugrats Nursery yesterday, before heading off on his Christmas Eve deliveries. During his rounds this evening, Santa will call at Victory Green at 5.00pm.
High seas fishing: agreement needed. SQUID fishing being carried out by Korean and Argentine vessels on the high seas this month highlights the need for a conservation agreement to ensure the future sustainability of illex, the Director of Fisheries has said. The Argentine Federal Fisheries Council has authorised vessels with valid illex argentinas squid permits to operate in the high seas outside the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone for ninety days and last week a number of Korean jiggers were reported to be catching around 4-5 tonnes of illex a day on the high seas north of the Falklands. Penguin News asked the Falklands Director of Fisheries if this high seas activity would affect the Southern Patagonian stock (SPS) which makes up the Falklands squid fishery. Dr John Barton commented, "Significant catches on the high seas will have some impact on the SPS illex, although some proportion of the catches may be from other stocks as well." Falkland Islands fishing vessels are not permitted to catch illex on the high seas until January 1. Dr Barton said, "This has been introduced as a conservation measure for illex. However, unless all or at least the majority of fleets acts accordingly, there is limited benefit to be achieved by extending such an unilateral measure into the new year." Dr Barton said the evidence at present suggests that at least some of the small amounts of illex being caught on the high seas are from a stock which matures earlier than the SPS. "Hence, this will not necessarily have much impact on our illex fishery." However he added, in order to ensure the future sustainability of the illex resource, "...it is likely that adequate conservation measures will have to be applied to the entire fishery. This includes high seas areas." Dr Barton said the Korean catches do not answer the key question of how abundant the SPS illex will be in 2005. "Samples will hopefully be obtained and it will be possible to establish whether any proportion of the catches do come from the SPS illex." He commented, "In general terms some delay in fishing SPS illex on the high seas to allow the biomass to increase would be desirable, and would ideally be a component of any high seas agreement." However he added, "It will only work if all fishing fleets subscribe to such an arrangement." MP/PN
Argentine families meet new ambassador.
"LOW KEY" talks about an inauguration ceremony of the Darwin memorial reported to have taken place between the British Ambassador to Argentina, Mr John Hughes, and representatives of Argentine next of kin was in fact a "getting to know you meeting," according to the Acting Governor, Miss Harriet Hall. The Argentine press reported this week that the meeting was held at the Ambassador's residence and the Relative's Committee's representatives, "...insisted with their request for an inauguration ceremony of the Memorial (finished last March)." However, Miss Hall said yesterday that the talks were, "...really just a getting to know you meeting." She reiterated, "It was not a visit to discuss the inauguration." A small inauguration ceremony organised by the Relative's Committee in August was allegedly stopped by the Argentine Foreign Ministry because among the passengers was the then British Ambassador, Sir Robin Christopher. Furthermore, the Argentine government reportedly objected to the fact that the Relative's Committee spoke directly to the Falklands government, whom the Argentine government refuses to recognise. MP/PN
Sports on the web THE Stanley Sports Association has announced that, in conjunction with Cable and Wireless Falkland Islands, the sponsors of the Maiden Plate, the Christmas Sports have truly entered the new millennium. This year's Sports will be on-line with three live camera feeds direct from the racecourse during the three days of competition. Racing is due to begin at 9.30am on Boxing Day, December 26. Log onto www.ssa.horizon.co.fkto check out the new Cable and Wireless-sponsored and designed website. There will also be live updated results on a half daily basis, ie at lunch and the close of play each day. Steve Dent, Secretary of the Stanley Sports Association said, "We would like to thank Cable and Wireless for their generous support of the Stanley Sports."
Seasonal cruisers THE cruise ship season hots up over the Christmas holiday. Vistamar (carrying approximately 260 passengers) and Clipper Adventurer (120) will visit West Point Island on Christmas Day; Clipper will also visit New Island that day. On Boxing Day, December 26, Vistamar will head to Stanley while Clipper Adventurerwill visit Steeple Jason and Saunders Island. On December 27 Clipper Adventurer will join the Royal Princess (1200) in Stanley; Norwegian Crown(1066) will visit the capital the following day. On Wednesday, December 29, MS Explorerwill visit New Island and West Point Island, before heading to Stanley on the 30th. Sea Lion Island and Bleaker Island will welcome AS Vavilov(100) on New Year's Day. On Sunday, January 2, Explorer II (200) will be in Stanley while Discovery (330) will visit West Point. On the 3rd they will swap, with Discovery visiting Stanley and Explorer II heading to West Point and New Island.
Arrest after vehicle fire A PERSON was arrested this week in connection with a vehicle fire on John Street and later released on police bail. Inspector Len McGill of the Royal Falkland Islands Police confirmed the person had been released following an interview and bailed to return on January 5. When asked if public safety was being compromised, he commented, "...all the issues surrounding the incident were carefully considered by the prosecuting authority in the Falklands, the Attorney General, and the decision made to release the person on bail."
Smith trial in February THE trial of Robert Smith, who faces three charges of child abuse, is likely to begin on February 8. Mr Smith, a resident of Goose Green was in court yesterday to hear that his trial is likely to last three days. He remains subject to strict bail conditions.
Next edition will be update on January 7.