Argentine foreign minister Felipe Solá anticipated that the Falklands/Malvinas Islands will be the priority in relations with the United Kingdom, and to protect the South Atlantic fisheries, fines have to be much harsher since now they are ridiculous low.
Changing the Malvinas policy is changing the policy towards the United Kingdom, Solá said in an interview with a Buenos Aires radio. In this new approach it is essential to get the UK out of that comfort zone, in which they don't seat down to negotiate but nevertheless have a good relation with us, so the priority now with UK is the Malvinas.
When asked specifically about the fishing activity in the region, Solá said that the vessels now fishing in the Falklands/Malvinas 200 miles, which is an usurped zone, paying Falklands licenses, in reality they are fishing as if those waiting outside our 200 miles, because they are also committing an illegality
Thus, if we can identify them with satellites we are going to take them to court also as we do with those outside the 200 miles, indicated the Argentine minister, recalling that we have done the same with the oil companies that are operating to the north of the Falklands/Malvinas
This week the Argentine government announced it was sending a bill to Congress to increase sanctions and fines to those illegally fishing in Argentine waters, including waters adjoining to the Malvinas Islands.
We've warned them that under no change of name or whatever, they will be able to access our territory, and that made many companies to give up and leave. Nobody can exploit economically, except Argentina, this sea, soil and subsoil
Further talking about fishing in Argentina's EEZ, Solá underlined, to protect our fisheries we must have harsher fines because currently they are ridiculous low.
Now the fine will be the equivalent of 300.00 liters of fuel, plus what it has in its hold, plus the costs of the arrest operation. That is going to discourage fishing vessels to slip into our EEZ to poach.
Not only that, there can be aggravating circumstances that can make the total fine multiply by six. You can be sure that companies will take notice of this. It's a huge sum for companies, plus the vessel will not continue fishing.
In a recent incident a Chinese flagged jigger caught poaching in Argentina's EEZ, manages to escape from the Coast Guard, protected by other jiggers. However the Argentines collected all the info possible, including satellite positioning and escape attitude of the vessel, and demanded the company in court.
A couple of weeks later the jigger turned in. This followed a meeting of Argentine authorities with Beijing's representative in Buenos Aires. So the fact is the jigger turned in but it's not clear how significant was the political and diplomatic closeness of the current Argentine government with Beijing.