Illegal, unregulated fishing mainly in the waters adjacent to the disputed South Atlantic islands of the Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich costs Argentina an estimate of anywhere from one to two billion dollars, according to CEO Eduardo Pucci, from OPRAS, an Organization for the Protection of Fishery Resources.
Pucci point to three main factors, illegal fishing, in absence of (Argentine) licenses; non declared fishing and non regulated fishing. Volumes for each category are between 200,000 and 400,000 tons for illegal fishing while non regulated outside the EEZ is estimated in 300,000 tone.
In the Falklands/Malvinas, the illegal fishing by the UK dates back to 1986, when London allowed the Islands to award and trade fishing licenses. Since then the economy of the Islands has changed drastically, fisheries became the main industry, with 90% of exports and annual revenue of some 500 million dollars. The statement belongs to Juan Augusto Rattenbach head of the Malvinas Museum, according to a piece published in the government's news agency Telam.
The article goes on to enumerate the three bills passed by Congress referred to the special Malvinas advisory Council, the extension of the Argentine ocean shelf from 200 to 230 miles, and the new fines for illegal fishing which are based on liters of fuel.
Even when the new borders of the Argentine continental shelf add some 1,782 million square kilometers, under the US Law of the Sea, the extension refers to natural resources, a great geopolitical potential, however it has no incidence on fisheries resources beyond the 200 miles, underline Rattenbach and Pucci.
The article also recalls that a few weeks ago the Fisheries Under Secretary said that combating illegal fishing was an absolute priority for the Argentine government, and this refers particularly to what is going on in the Malvinas waters
Rattenbach mentions that besides influencing negatively the Argentine fishing industry, the 'depredation' also means loss of direct and indirect jobs for Argentine workers, plus additional industries such as vessel building and the maintenance of the fleet.
Besides in adjacent waters the only vessels that comply with the regulations are the Argentine, the rest violate cooperation, disregard respect for the ecosystem and ignore responsible catches, and not to mention conservation measures, added Pucci.
It is also essential to regulates fishing in the area adjacent to the Argentine EEZ because they are mostly migrant species, and this means the coastal state provides the fish and those outside the 200 miles take unregulated advantage of the resource”