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Argentina ‘environmentally irresponsible’ say Falklands’ strategy writers

Tuesday, September 1st 2009 - 13:17 UTC
Full article 8 comments
Fisheries contribute 60% of the Falklands’ GDP according to Stuart Wallace Fisheries contribute 60% of the Falklands’ GDP according to Stuart Wallace

Argentina’s lack of action with regard to over fishing in its own waters and on the high seas was described as “environmentally irresponsible” at the fisheries sector of a public presentation on the Falklands Environmental Development Strategy (EDS) last week.

Fishing business owner Stuart Wallace, co-chair of the sector with Director of Fisheries John Barton, made the comment when describing threats to the Falklands fishery – the Islands have straddling stocks with Argentina

Mr Wallace said, “It is a real shame but there is nothing we can do about it… Argentina won’t talk to us about it or the high seas problem,”

This initial part of the EDS process (Part A) covered the current state of the fisheries sector.

The fishery is massively important to the Falklands economy, contributing almost 60% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and despite its success so far requires a decent port facility, vessel replacement capital of around US$ 650 million and working capital of around US$ 81 million if it is to develop accordingly indicated Mr Wallace.

He also felt there was currently a lack of unskilled labour and inadequate appropriately skilled labour in the Islands.

Mr Wallace also criticised the Falkland Islands Government for a perceived, “…reduction in the level of resources,” directed at the fishery.

Expensive fuel and electricity and an over reliance on Joint Venture partners he also saw as a weakness.

All was not doom and gloom however: “Joint Venture arrangements bring access to core markets, capacity building, skills and experience and financial strength,” said Mr Wallace, “World demand for seafood is increasing,” and “We have developed a network of international contacts.”

Speaking of opportunities he outlined: the development of new markets; direct selling from the islands; aquaculture, and a new port and container link related opportunities such as expansion of direct sales, product handling, marine services and vessel lay-up.

He said: “There is commercial co-operation between local companies and increasing shareholding in companies…”

There are fifteen fishing companies in the islands that hold quota in one or more of the 10 fisheries. The industry’s most significant recent development was the introduction of transferable fishing rights in 2005.

The EDS is also examining agriculture, tourism and services. Although similar strategies have been written in the past this is the first time it has been undertaken from within the islands.

The first EDS was undertaken by Lord Shackleton in 1976 and updated in 1982.

The Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly now feels “We have enough capability to do it ourselves.”

By Lisa Johnston - SeAled PR - Stanley

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • nitrojuan

    Stuart, how do you think that we could talk with the invaders of our islands and part of our seas? are you ridiculous????? Have you ate a contaminated octopus?

    Sep 01st, 2009 - 08:29 pm 0
  • Argiebargie

    Well, whoever wrote this did it in a way that we'll have to stick to the title because the note never comments on what has Mr Wallace actually said BEFORE “It is a real shame ...” Yellow press, dear, attracts quantity, not quality readers. So please come off it!

    Sep 01st, 2009 - 09:54 pm 0
  • running

    Can someone shed some light on the above comment?

    Sep 02nd, 2009 - 12:30 am 0
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