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Argentina’s Falklands stance hits squid fishermen by MICHAEL WARREN March 26,2013   |  Source: Scotsman

Ezports o protect a key commercial squid species are being hindered by lack of co-operation between Argentina and the Falkland Islands.

Unlicensed, unregulated fishing vessels pull an estimated 300,000 tonnes of ilex squid a year out of the South Atlantic. The squid is not only an important economic resource, it is also key to a food chain that sustains penguins, seals, birds and whales.

But efforts to manage it were set back in 2005 when Argentina pulled out of a fisheries management organisation it had shared with the Falklands. Argentina’s government doesn’t want any co-operation that might hint at recognition of self-government on the British islands it claims, which it calls Las Malvinas.

“It’s like the Wild West out there,” said Milko Schvartzman, who campaigns against over-fishing for Greenpeace International. He said many unlicensed boats routinely follow squid into Argentina’s economic exclusion zone.

He added: “Unfortunately, the Argentine government doesn’t have the naval capacity to continually control this area.”

The Falklands are defended by British warships, planes and submarines, giving the fisheries agency considerable muscle to enforce licences in its waters. But Argentina’s navy has never recovered from the 1982 war for the

 

© 2013 Johnston Publishing Ltd.

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