BUENOS AIRES, March 23 (NNN-MERCOPRESS) — Argentina is getting tough on illegal unregulated fishing in the South Atlantic and is planning a joint effort by the Fisheries Under Secretariat, the Armed Forces and security forces.
It is estimated according to government sources that Argentina loses some US$ 2.5 billion annually to illegal fishing which so far it has been unable to control. The report was published by Infobae.
“We must strengthen control mechanisms, coordinate patrolling tasks and the Defense and Security ministries will be in charge of implementing the plan outlined by the Fisheries Department”, according to a participant of the meeting between Security minister Patricia Bullrich, Defense minister Oscar Aguad and Fisheries Under Secretary Juan Bosch.
According to official data some 400 fishing vessels currently operate legally in the South Atlantic, and Argentina’s EEZ, which represents some US$ 2bn annually in overseas sales. But in recent years vessels illegally fishing have ballooned and their take is estimated in some US$ 2.5bn. The Argentine Coast Guard and Navy put the number of vessels illegally operating in over 300.
As a result of the ongoing inter-ministerial talks a Fisheries Control Board has been created which will coordinate and provide for the South Atlantic patrolling by the Navy and Coast Guard.
Likewise it was revealed that a month ago there was a high level meeting in Lima, Peru, to review advances and strengthening regional actions against illegal fishing. Twelve Latin American countries attended together with the United States and Spain.
In related news it must be recalled that Argentine decided the purchase of four Ocean Patrol Vessels, OPV, from France, an operation involving some 325 million dollars.
According to reports the vessels are to be refurbished at the Naval Group yard, and the first is scheduled to be delivered this year. The following three OPV-87 are to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. — NNN-MERCOPRESS