Gustavo Melella confirmed having ordered 300 tons of toothfish for the Prodesur fishery

He raised it before the National Fisheries Council alleging that the company has financial problems. The governor told Agenda Malvinas that “there is nothing wrong, nothing illegal.”

14 de May de 2024 08:28

"There are 600 tons of that social quota free that can be distributed calmly in companies," said the governor.

In a note published this Friday the 10th, Puerto de Mar del Plata Magazine said it had confirmed that; At the first annual meeting of the Federal Fisheries Council, the governor of Tierra del Fuego requested a quota of 300 tons of toothfish as a Social Reserve Fund. for Prodesur , “alleging that it has financial problems.” Late that same afternoon, Gustavo Melella confirmed the request to Agenda Malvinas and explained his reasons.

The detailed note that bears the signature of the journalist Karina Fernández ; It puts a hint of suspicion in the governor's request and denounces the concealment of information by the Federal Fisheries Council .

He states that “ from the first minute in which the illegal fishing operation of the Tai An vessel became known, it was known of the existence of a note sent by the governor of Tierra del Fuego, Gustavo Melella, to the Undersecretary of Fisheries, Juan Antonio López Cazorla. and the Federal Fisheries Council, requesting that a Social Reserve Fund of 300 tons to be granted to the Prodesur firm , owned by businessman Lui Zhejiang, but it was impossible to find that document . However, he adds, once the Federal Fisheries Council was put into operation and given the impossibility of denying its existence, the note was taken into account and although they tried to disguise it, a copy soon began to spread on the telephones. Therefore, Revista Puerto observes that “the new CFP does not seem like a very transparent beginning.”


Paragraphs of the Governor's note to the CFP


The Mar del Plata media specialized in fishing, transcribes paragraphs of the note dated February 5 sent by Melella , and received by the CFP on the 14th of that same month: “In my capacity as Governor, in view of the social interest of our province, tending to maintain sustainable fishing activity, I am aware of the serious economic and financial situation that Prodesur SA is going through.”

The Fuegian company - the note continues - generates more than a thousand jobs (sic) directly and indirectly,” and “given the serious economic and financial situation it is going through, in the event of closure, it would generate a great negative the population due to the loss of jobs, in the internal economy, as well as the impact on economic income for this province.”

Governor Melella of @GobiernoTDF asked the Federal Fisheries Council for 300 tons of Black Hake for the company Prodesur SA of Liu Zhijiang, owner of the TAI AN vessel that caught 175 illegal tons of Black Hake. Due to "serious financial situation."


"For all this, we are obliged to request that you very urgently proceed to convene the Federal Fisheries Council to process the request made by this province: the creation of the Social Reserve Fund for toothfish for 300 tons, that they be assigned to Prodesur SA,” concludes the Puerto Magazine excerpt about the governor's letter.


The “curiosities” that Puerto Magazine points out

“Several curiosities show this note,” observes the media specialized in fishing. The first, “the strange intervention of the governor” before the National Executive in favor of a particular company, considering it an obligation . Being that Prodesur does not have a quota for toothfish and therefore does not have legal access to the resource , except as an incidental species.

Another curiosity ; By note, the governor requested 300 tons of toothfish for the company. In the same way, Prodesur requests only 200 tons of toothfish.” That is, 100 more than the interested party himself.

Puerto Magazine also denounces concealment . He says that at the CFP meeting last Thursday the 9th “the existence of the note was mentioned, but no details were given, hiding what Melella's intentions were, which curiously preceded the illegal fishing of 175 tons of toothfish by of the Tai An property of Prodesur.” And he adds that Minute 1 of the CFP indicates that treatment is given to the Governor's note “referring to the Patagonian toothfish Administration Reserve.” Without transcribing even a summary, we move on to the request of the provincial representative, the Minister of Production and Environment Karina Fernández : “That the Governor's request be treated in conjunction with the extension, which he also requests, of the currently in force specific regime management by CITC of the toothfish species.

“The governor's note, as we have seen, does not mention the quota regime, but was a last-minute addition presented by counselor Karina Daniela Fernández , who seeks to end “the automatic mechanism for assigning catch volume (of the Administration Reserve) among the holding companies of CITC.”

It must be taken into account that quotas are property titles granted through certain legal parameters, which allow fishing a certain percentage of a maximum catch, which in this case is around 3000 tons. The Administration Reserve is approximately 600 tons. “Melella asked for 50% for a company without a quota ,” the media lists in detail .


Melella says that there are 600 tons of that social quota “free” that can be distributed among companies

That same Friday afternoon, the 10th, Agenda Malvinas asked the governor if he was informed of the publication of Puerto Magazine . The Fuegian president responded affirmatively: “yes that is the case. And it was before all this (in apparent reference to the Tai An violation) , he requested to fish 300 tons of the social quota, which no one catches, “There is nothing wrong with that, nothing illegal, it is an Argentine company”; said.

Furthermore, we asked him what it means or rather, what is the objective of the CREATION OF THE SOCIAL RESERVE FUND of 300 tons of toothfish in favor of Prodesur and not on a shared basis ; for example with Pesantar , which is also based in Tierra del Fuego, the same as Estremar. Even more so considering that Pesantar, Argenova and Estremar have fishing quotas, unlike Prodesur whose last permit was in 2020.

Gustavo Melella explained that “there are quotas for hake as for other fish.” Specifically he said, that “ There are 600 tons of this so-called social quota available, which can be easily distributed to the companies that request it . Since the other companies already have their quota completely occupied, even if they do not catch them, they cannot be given it, so other companies ask for it .” And he stated that the fishing businessman asked to use a quota of 300 tons before it became known that his boat had already caught 175 tons of toothfish in a reserve area and without a fishing license for that species.

Then the Federal Fisheries Council can grant them or not, but they are well requested and in any case it is up to them if they want to grant them,” Melella added.

Lastly, the governor was also asked; if the SOCIAL RESERVE FUND you requested has a social sense of providing, for example; quality food to the province. “The social quota has no social meaning. I asked that same question. I don't know why they call him that from the CFP. At one point I thought they were going to donate toothfish to us for the dining rooms,” responded the governor of Tierra del Fuego.

By Agenda Malvinas


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