Argentina’s Fisheries Under Secretariat confirmed huge fines for three fishing vessels from China and one Spanish which were allegedly caught during the last six months illegally fishing in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone, EEZ off the coast of Chubut province.
”The Coast Guard has been able to seize four fishing vessels that were operating in Argentina’s 200-mile EEZ. Intervention was given to the Federal Justice and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Under-Secretariat imposed a fine of 5.5 million Argentine Pesos (one million dollars approx at the official exchange rate) for the transgression to the Federal Fisheries Act stated Undersecretary Miguel Bustamante.
The fines, amounting to 5.5 million Pesos each, were imposed on Chinese vessels ‘Lu Rong Yu 6177’ and ‘Lu Rong Yu 6178’ moored in Comodoro Rivadavia, and on the ‘Fu Yuan Yu 873’, currently arrested in Puerto Madryn.
The Spanish trawler ‘Piscator’ owned by the Galicia-based firm Pesqueras de Bon was also sanctioned.
‘Lu Rong Yu 6177’ and ‘Lu Rong Yu 6178’ have been docked in Chubut since December 2012, when they were arrested after allegedly caught illegally fishing in Argentine waters. Both ships belong to the same company that has not paid the fine yet.
Under Argentine law failure to pay the fine means legal civil actions will be initiated to collect the money.
The third Chinese trawler, ‘Fu Yuan Yu 873’, was intercepted on 17 June within the 200 miles of the EEZ. The shipping firm was notified of the fine on 15 July.
Meanwhile ‘Piscator’ has been retained since July 2013. According to the Argentine Coast Guard the trawler had two tons of fresh fish on board and a further 250 tons of processed frozen fish in their holds. Bustamante said the ship owner had already been notified of the fine and that the company decided to make the payment”. (FIS).-