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Montevideo, February 3rd 2023 - 19:20 UTC



Some 300 Chinese fishing vessels crossing Magellan Strait to the South Atlantic, Argentine report

Wednesday, December 8th 2021 - 09:30 UTC
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ARA Bouchard, the French built Ocean Patrol keeping track of the Chinese fleet moving into the South Atlantic  (Pic La Voz) ARA Bouchard, the French built Ocean Patrol keeping track of the Chinese fleet moving into the South Atlantic (Pic La Voz)

In a joint operation, the Argentine Navy and Coast Guard are monitoring and keeping track of an estimated 300 Chinese fishing vessels that are sailing from the Pacific to the South Atlantic across the Magellan Strait.

The main purpose is to ensure that the incoming trawlers and jiggers are kept out of Argentina's Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ, unless they have the licenses to operate in the country's 200 mile zone.

The overall operation not only includes the ministries of Defense, Security and Foreign affairs but also the Fisheries Department, according to Fernando Morales, head of the Argentine Naval League, a private organization.

“It is a strong responsibility from the State to combat illegal fishing and any predating vessel caught in violation of our EEZ, will be fined accordingly”.

Morales further on pointed out that the Argentine government is now paying more attention to illegal, unreported, undeclared fishing with the presence of Navy and Coast Guard vessels with air support.

“I believe three ocean patrols and two corvettes from the navy are patrolling the 200 miles contour plus Coast Guard vessels and air support from both services.”

Morales added “we must check the Chinese vessels, to make sure they don't make incursions and if they do, catch them and make them pay the fine, which has been updated and are now linked to the price of naval gasoil”

Apparently for the first time an Argentine ocean patrol, the ARA Bouchard is at the east end of the Magellan strait waiting to keep record of all the foreign fleet vessels moving into the South Atlantic.

“I was told by naval officers that Chinese vessels are identified one by one and are escorted out of the Argentine EEZ to mile 201” Morales explained this has been undertaken despite criticism from NGOs claiming Argentina is doing nothing to protect its fisheries resources.

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