Illex squid season begins and the government announces measures to neutralize illegal fishing
Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 05:00 (GMT + 9)
At present, during the fishing season for the Illex argentinus squid species, a significant number of jigger-type fishing vessels approach national limits in search of the country's fish and maritime resources, many of them without the authorizations. required, for which they incur in illegal acts that impact on fauna, the environment and sovereignty.
Within this framework, the officers of the Naval Prefecture carry out control tasks with constant patrols on the border of the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone (mile 200) with the Coast Guard type 24, which are assisted by air patrols and by the Maritime Traffic Service.
“In this way, the monitoring and control of the hundreds of vessels that operate daily in Argentine waters are ensured 24 hours a day and that must respect the closed areas established by the National Fisheries Authority, in order to avoid overexploitation. of our fish and maritime resources, ”the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The portfolio led by Felipe Solá recalled that the joint work allowed, since the end of 2020, the Prefecture has identified and carried out a detailed and daily monitoring of 314 fishing vessels (240 from the Pacific, 65 from the Atlantic and 9 from the North Atlantic).
Control works in the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone
This task of control and surveillance is possible due to the modern and innovative integral electronic surveillance system that the force possesses under the name "Coast Guard System", which consists of a geographic information system (GIS, for its acronym in English), which allows obtain all the information available on the movements, technical and administrative data of the ships that are sailing around the world, among other issues.
Photo: Prefectura Naval Argentina / FIS
According to reports from the Prefecture, foreign-flagged ships that approach the area adjacent to the ZEEA come, centrally, from three shipping routes: from the Pacific Ocean (entering through the Strait of Magellan), from the Indian Oceans and Atlantic and the North Atlantic.
In addition to patrolling, in the last year there were also substantial advances with the enactment of two laws.
On the one hand, the reform of the Federal Fishing Regime, which increases the fines for illegal fishing in the Argentine Sea, and on the other, the demarcation of the outer limit of the Argentine Continental Shelf, the latter as a result of the uninterrupted work carried out for more of two decades by the Commission of the Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf (Copla), dependent on the Argentine Foreign Ministry.
The new fine system is variable based on value units related to the cost of fuel, with equivalent amounts ranging from 500 thousand liters to 3 million liters of diesel, according to the severity of the crime, with a floor of 25 million pesos and a ceiling of 150 million pesos, considering current market values.
In the case of foreign vessels, the applicable penalty is the highest since these are vessels that fish without permission from Argentina. Additionally, the enforcement authority may order the capture and retention of the foreign flag vessel in port until, after substantiation of the respective summary, the payment of the fine becomes effective.