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Photo: courtesy Revista puerto

Call for speed in MPA management plans

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The firm Argenova submitted to the Federal Fisheries Council a note in which it requests the National Directorate of Marine Protected Areas to define the ordering measures to enter to fish for toothfish in the permitted areas of the Yaganes and Banco de Burdwood I and II MPAs .

Argenova's legal representative, Mauro Zamboni, sent the Federal Fisheries Council a note addressed to the Director of Marine Protected Areas, Mercedes Santos, requesting that a management plan be drawn up; The fishing of the toothfish species is not restricted and in an additional way, special treatment is granted to the Argenova XIV vessel, as it is the only unit with selective longline fishing gear.

“Although it is true that the maximum term provided by law 27,037 has not expired, and that various meetings have been promoted both by the Permanent Advisory Committee of the National System of Marine Protected Areas as well as by the Forum for Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence, to date there has not been a public estimate instrument that implies an advance in the management measures of the potential fisheries that could be developed in such vast areas ”.

Thus begins the letter sent by the Argenova company to the National Directorate of Marine Protected Areas, dependent on the Ministry of the Environment, in which it requests the impossibility of carrying out fishing activities in the Yaganes AMPs and Burdwood Bank I and II.

From the company they point out that already in the 1st Ordinary Meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee of 2019 a schedule of tasks was stipulated to define the management plan, such as consultative workshops, preparation of reports and convening of sectorial tables to prepare specific plans and it was decided that the first draft should be available by the end of the same year, which has not happened.

Photo: courtesy Histamar

"At present, in the Burdwood Bank I and II MPAs we find approximately 6,500 square kilometers under the management category" National Marine Reserve "(RNM), where according to national law 27,037, this category admits fishing activity in the framework of a management plan, this added to the area composed under the management category "Marine National Park" within the MPA "Yaganes" which covers about 68,834.31 km2 in whose water column, according to law, the exercise of the fishing, subject to the standards established in the management plan to be created ”, they point out in another paragraph of the note.

They emphasize that the toothfish has been defined as the main species of fishing interest for these MPAs since there are fishing grounds for this resource and making a count of the current legislation for its exploitation, they indicate that "it is one of the most regulated in the Argentine Sea ”. On the other hand, they highlight “the complexity for the exploitation related to the fact that said species has generally been circumscribed to certain zones, with adverse climatic characteristics, which, compared to the vastness of our exclusive economic zone, turn out to be comparatively very restricted. ”.

They claim that since 2019, it has been reached in three other documented meetings of the Permanent Advisory Committee and in the two Meetings of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence, an NGO that promotes the MPA laws, to the conclusion that the areas defined as Marine Reserves, “present an opportunity to effectively implement sustainable management standards for the fishing activities that occur within them and, eventually, a possible positive impact on access to international markets for the fishery products that there are captured, according to the trends that have been verified. "

Photo: courtesy Revista puerto

It is indicated that in addition to not being able to fish, as parameters defined by precise satellite position coordinates are not established, the fleet experiences difficulties when it must navigate protected maritime spaces, making it almost impossible not to incur a traffic violation over said areas.

“The current scenario indicates that despite the fact that these MPAs proclaim to guarantee international standards in pursuit of sustainable development, to date the establishment of a fisheries management plan that allows the exercise of said activity authorized by law has not been achieved. Added to this is the aggravation that both the legislators who have promoted its creation, under certain management categories, as well as, subsequently, the institutions that have worked on its management turn out to be coincident in the compatibility of the fishing exercise in these areas. . However and despite this, and from the time to date, the MPAs created have been nothing more than huge permanent closed areas ”, they argue from Argenova. 

For the moment, the Federal Fisheries Council has only taken a note, without ordering its treatment or transfer to request a response. It should be remembered that the participation of this body has not been sufficiently active since the beginning of the negotiations on the establishment of Marine Protected Areas in the Argentine Sea, despite the activity being affected.

Source: Revista Puerto (article available only in spanish)

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