"Perhaps, the 2023 electoral contest justifies reading the 357 pages of this Triennial Plan that makes it clear that outside of private, business and work efforts, the State has been absent in the development of maritime and fishing activity. and, this is verified in the lack of compliance with the objectives and the allocation of funds that Argentina had planned fifty years ago for the promotion and growth of this sector", César Augusto Lerena

30 de June de 2023 07:59

The Three Year Plan; the private, business and labor effort, for the development of the maritime and fishing activity of the Nation.

These days we conclude our work "National Fishing Plan" that includes "One hundred actions and their effects to enhance fishing and recover the South Atlantic" in addition to a project to reform the Federal Fisheries Law (24,922) that led us to study all the legislation of South America and the Caribbean, that of the United States and the European Union. We also analyze the 1974-77 Triennial Plan that was truncated by the 1976 coup and that, none of them seem to have read, much less executed. those responsible for taking care of our sovereignty in the maritime and continental territory and developing the Patagonian peoples through fishing, naval and port production, in the last fifty years.

Perhaps, the 2023 electoral contest justifies reading the 357 pages of this Triennial Plan that makes it clear that outside of private, business and work efforts, the State has been absent in the development of maritime and fishing activity and , this is verified in the lack of compliance with the objectives and the allocation of funds that Argentina had planned fifty years ago for the promotion and growth of this sector.

In addition to the relevant Ministries, State companies, many of which were emptied, defunded or privatized, contributed to the preparation of this Three-Year Plan - in the part referring to this matter: General Administration of Ports; Shipyards and Naval Factories of the State SA (Río Santiago Shipyards); Atanor SA; Carbochemical Argentina Joint Commercial Societies; General Directorate of Military Manufacturing; Military Fabrications Aceros Ohler SA; Company Líneas Marítimas Argentinas SA (ELMA).; River Fleet Company of the Argentine State; Hidronor SA; Patagonian Iron of Sierra Grande SA; Minera Industrias Mecánicas del Estado SA; Bahía Blanca Petrochemical SAIC; Petrochemical Comodoro Rivadavia SA; General Mosconi Petrochemical; Argentine Siderurgia Mixed Company; Joint SA Special Steels; Talleres Navales Dársena Norte SA; Fiscal Oilfields; etc. It was not the fruit of hasty electoral political platforms.

The Plan was introduced with a Preamble whose validity remains intact: “ Argentina suffers one of the worst forms of destruction: subjugation and stagnation. Now what has been destroyed must be rebuilt. Above all, faith in ourselves, in our own ability to create a socially just, economically free and politically sovereign nation; To do this, we must rebuild our institutions and their capacity to carry out great works and profound transformations.and, in parallel, consolidate national unity, in a dynamic society, whose scope is not degraded by the indiscriminate exploitation of our natural resources .”

The Plan regarding shipbuilding had the purpose of obtaining a considerable increase in the tonnage of our merchant navy, at the same time as substantially increasing the level of production of the national shipyards. In the period 1964/72, the tonnage incorporated into our flag reached 655,643 TPB; of which 30% were new ships and of these 53% were provided by national shipyards. The Plan indicated that the total number of vessels to be built in the next five years would reach 136 with 514,000 TPB. The country's large shipyards will build 22 vessels, with a total of 502,200 TPB, of which 52% would correspond to state shipowners and 48% to private shipowners, while medium shipyards will build 108 ships with 12,000 TPB for state shipowners and 6 tugboats for private shipowners. Of the 22 ships to be built by the large shipyards, ten would be bulk carriers, six freighters, four for refrigerated cargo and 2 tankers for YPF. Given that in the last three years the annual average of tonnage delivered by all the shipyards was less than 50,000 tons, this construction program would imply doubling its level of activity. In this way, the program, while significantly increasing the transport capacity of our merchant navy, represents a source of employment of magnitude and a better use of the installed production capacity in the country. The total cost of the program is more than 4 billion pesos, of which more than 3 billion correspond to large shipyards (vessels of more than 5,000 gross tons) and almost one billion pesos to medium-sized shipyards.There are those who say that not having executed this plan means for Argentina a loss of 4 to 5 billion dollars annually in freight. According to Barletti, “ the correct thing would be to express that Argentina does not participate in the international maritime freight generated by its foreign trade due to not having shipping companies dedicated to international or overseas transport based in the country".

The Three-Year Plan indicated that water transport should recover its corresponding role in the transport of bulk goods of low unit value and long distances and should also introduce other traffic that is also adaptable today to water transport as a result of the new intermodal transport techniques. The re-equipment of ELMA's fleet will be ensured in order to replace obsolete vessels with larger units and avoid the excessive use of rented foreign vessels. Special emphasis will be placed on bulk vessels. Regarding the waterways, the use of push transport will be promoted. The State River Fleet will make the necessary investments to satisfy the growing demand for this transport system. By the way, this part of the plan is still pending, because the production of the coastal towns Patagonian, continue to be transported by land, with the consequent higher cost and environmental pollution.

Regarding the Fishing Industry , the Plan states that the lack of a coherent and stable policy for the promotion of maritime fishing activity caused strong fluctuations in the levels of production and marketing of the sector . The current demand and the investment process of Recent years have produced a gap of around 300,000 tons per year between the total capture capacity and the effective landing in 1973. Adequate growth would be achieved through a substantial increase in domestic demand, which accompany the increase in exports produced in recent years. This trend seems to be accentuated for the next five years, with the level of world production and the shortage of protein products acting as a determining factor. Therefore, the Plan says the objectives of the sector will be: consolidate the trend towards exporting products with a higher degree of processing, but in 2023 60% still do not have added value; promote the development of the Argentine naval industry; that, in 2023, it continues to import fishing vessels; fisheries research and the armed forces.

The Plan would make it possible to increase annual per capita consumption from 6.60 kg in 1973 to 13.20 kg in 1977 and 18.5 in 1980, with an increase in exports from 70 thousand tons in 1973 to 250 thousand in 1977. and 450 thousand in 1980, a number similar to 2022. The fulfillment of the internal consumption goals was not met and in 2023 it only reached 4.5 kg of per capita consumption, the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean, whose average consumption It reaches 10 kg. No other result could be expected. Since 1974 to date nothing has been done about it.    

For the Plan period the investment would be 1,500 million. The workforce employed by the sector would go from 14,000 people in 1973 to 34,000 in 1977; but in 2023 they will reach only 20,000 registered jobs; reducing even the operators who worked in the sector in the 90s, despite the fact that at this time headers, filleting machines, etc. were incorporated, which were later deactivated because the yields were lower than manual work. A large part of the problem is the extractive policy and process on board that is carried out.  

Among the measures to be taken were the promotion of the consumption of fresh and frozen products; creation of an efficient distribution and marketing system; stimulate the creation of concentration markets and distribution centers for fresh fish; promote training at all levels and according to national needs.

The purpose of the fisheries development program was the accelerated, comprehensive and rational use of the natural resources of the maritime coast, in order to improve the diet of our population and achieve a strong increase in exports of fishing products. The program involves directly , the construction of ships, the improvement of the existing port infrastructure and the creation of new facilities, the improvement and rationalization of the marketing network and distribution and the development of the derived industry. The project foresaw a strong expansion of catches on the Patagonian maritime coast, reaching 63% in 1977 and 83% in 1980, of the national total. Despite the fact that the Undersecretaries of Fisheries were of Patagonian origin, 50% of the landings in these ports equal the landings in Mar del Plata.  

The Plan indicated that investments in infrastructure, capture means and industries will be a source of demand for other industrial branches and for construction. The program will also promote the development and application of new technologies. The State will have a participation very determined, which will include: the training of human resources ; development of research in fisheries ; or granting of credits and subsidies to fishermen, shipowners and industrialists ; e establish a quality improvement system ; regularize marketing ; disseminate easy-to-prepare recipes based on the most abundant products ; organize demand promotion campaigns ; multiply the times of sale ; create a distribution and marketing system capable of satisfactorily supplying the entire country ; e establish a single state entity for the expansion of fishery products ; develop products made with Argentine species with high added value and compatible with the possibilities of expanding external demand ; make agreements to achieve access to the markets - of the strongly protectionist countries. None of this has been executed by the State and the businesses are the result of private effort, in good time, but, the import tariffs of the importers are not have compensated in the country.   

The three-year Plan indicated that the planned actions will make it possible to increase the catch from 275 thousand tons in 1973, to 723 thousand tons in 1977 and 1,152 tons in 1980. Nothing that happens in 2023, whose catches reach 800 thousand tons and, this, It may be due to the fact that the Enforcement Authority has not resolved the 30% rejection reported by the technical and auditing organizations. Many billions of dollars lost from 1974 to date.Without taking into account the illegal fishing that is carried out in the Malvinas area and on the migratory resources originating from the Exclusive Economic Zone on the high seas.

By Agenda Malvinas


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