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Falklands claims Argentina responsible for ending Southern Blue Whiting fishery

Friday, August 12th 2011 - 17:37 UTC
Full article 152 comments

Argentina contributes for the destruction of the species Southern Blue Whiting in the South West Atlantic claim Falkland Islands Fisheries Department scientists and fishing company executives.

Fisheries Biologist/ Marine Ecologist Dr Paul Brickle of the Falklands’ Fisheries said “It’s a sad demise to a rather lucrative fishery due to poor management and lack of a regional fisheries management authority.”

The species that spawns around the Falklands Islands in the Cape Meredith area was once an item high on the agenda of the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission (SAFC) an authority where the Falkland Islands and Argentina were able to share stock assessment information and agree Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of South-West Atlantic Stocks.

In 2005 Argentina walked out of the Commission and since then has refused to cooperate or share any data with the Falklands.

Director of Fortuna Ltd Stuart Wallace explained that when the SAFC was in existence a TAC for Southern Blue Whiting was set at 50,000 tonnes, divided between the Falklands and Argentina, “although even then Argentina would go on to fish around 60,000 tonnes”.

Since 2005 Argentina under the two Kirchner presidents has gone on to fish for a great deal more than that amount on a yearly basis.

The country pronounced a 60,000 tonne TAC in 2010 but only 11,000 tonnes of that was actually achieved; and scientific research points to a maximum of around 21% (potentially as low as 13%) of the virgin spawning stock biomass remaining.

“Argentina has fished it out to the point where levels are no longer commercial,” said Mr Wallace.

In the Vessel Units Allowable Effort and Allowable Catch 2012 created by Falkland Islands Fisheries Department scientists it notes: “This declining trend and lack of regional data highlights the need for a resurrection of the SAFC, or at least have some agreement on data sharing and management.

“This decline has almost definitely impacted the ecosystem. The large numbers of Southern Blue Whiting removed from the system have likely played a part in the increasing abundance of Rock Cod.

“Due to this pessimistic outlook there is no reason to change the S licence TAC from 6,000 tonnes.

“We also recommend that the temporal closure of the Southern Blue Whiting spawning grounds in September remained closed for 2012 and for the foreseeable future.”

On a more optimistic note, it states: “Although this paints a pretty grim picture it looks like the spawning area closure last year has resulted in a better recruitment the first half of 2011.”

At the meeting of the Fisheries Committee on Wednesday Mr Wallace summed it up saying “It’s a pretty desperate situation”. (PN)

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  • geo

    Argentina's Fish Harvest

    2002/ 1,422 millions Pesos
    2010/ 2,484 millions Pesos ............................. BRAVO !

    Argentina ! you must keep away from greedy,fatsters, sharks !

    Aug 12th, 2011 - 06:56 pm 0
  • Raul

    UK is directly responsible for the destruction of Southern blue whiting species in the southwest Atlantic.
    Failure to meet the just claims of sovereignty over the islands has caused this problem and this adds to the illegal search and looting of natural resources carried out by England triggered protests in world public opinion.
    You must first talk about sovereignty to gain the trust of Argentina as it showed signs of dialogue in the nineties and England make fun of it.

    Aug 12th, 2011 - 07:15 pm 0
  • briton

    2 Raul
    Your logic then is, because we did not agree, Argentina [again] has the right to steal what is not hers,
    Or take the rule into her own hands, and devastate the stock,

    As for the UK government being responsible, this is interesting, a the Falklands are British, then the Falklands should then ask the government to send down a few fishery protection ships, to patrol the waters, backed up by the bigger ships , just in case,
    This has nothing to do with agreements, in such, that these stocks are getting smaller and could disappear for ever,, this is greed, argentine arrogance is to blame for this, and nothing more,
    The time is rapidly coming when the UK will be forced to put Argentina, in its place,
    Forced by Argentina, themselves, who keep on pushing, and pushing,
    You have been humiliated once in the last 30 odd years, do you wish to make it twice,
    Then perhaps we can all see, just WHO does backs your play,
    Just a thought, [fishing mmm should have gone to Iceland] lol.

    Aug 12th, 2011 - 07:35 pm 0
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