The South Atlantic and Fisheries expert César Lerena lists the chain of organizations responsible for fisheries control and names each of those that allowed the Tai An's predatory action, extracting 163 tons of toothfish in Argentine waters without permission.

23 de March de 2024 13:34

The Tai An, sailing the waters of the Beagle Channel, bound for the port of Ushuaia

The national companies, with foreign capital, Argenova, Estremar and Pesantar, holders of one hundred percent of the catch quotas for the Black Hake species, reported to the Undersecretariat of Fisheries that the vessel of the company Prodesur SA, with Chinese capital, based in Tierra del Fuego “Tai An” ( ex Daishin Maru 28) ; whose leader is Liu Zhijiang, fished 163 tons of toothfish in Argentine waters without authorization.


The FOB export of Black Hake is an annual Argentine business of about 70 million dollars, since it is a species whose value per ton is above the highly valued crab and prawns and the maximum annual catch quota reaches 3,700 tons.


The Prodesur SA digital portal indicates that the “Tai An” ship “is the only ship in South America dedicated to the production of Surimi on board, capturing and processing the Polish and Hoki species in a state-of-the-art factory,” although the The ship is quite old, because it was launched in Japan in 1981 and, the company explains in its presentation: "the ship captures and processes species such as Black Hake...respecting the environment, working responsibly and making sustainable exploitation of marine resources." ». Stating, as it does, that it processes “Black Hake” on board and also fishes 163 tons without authorization, is a fact totally contrary to sustainable fishing and care for the marine environment.

Leaving aside illegal fishing, which occurs both in the Malvinas by the British-Spanish and others; as by the Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Spanish vessels that illegally fish on the high seas for migratory resources originating from the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone, about which we have already referred many times; This is a witness case that illegal fishing also occurs with national vessels within the Argentine sea, due to a total lack of control by the Undersecretary of Fisheries and the security forces at sea.

We have repeatedly said that the FAO, INIDEP and AGN indicated that there are 30% of discards in the sea and that species are replaced at the time of landing among other prohibited practices, such as the one in question of unauthorized fishing , which must also be classified. illegal fishing.

What is a catch quota?A fisheries management tool that gives a percentage of catches to companies on the total of the Maximum Sustainable Catch set annually by the Research Institute (INIDEP) in a defined area and period; requiring, among other things, to have a Fishing Activities Project approved.   When a Company is not authorized to fish a species and does so - as in this case - it threatens the sustainability of the species; potentially causing predation due to overfishing; but also, attacking companies that are authorized to fish a pre-established volume of the species (Black Hake), in such a way that unauthorized fishing affects the planning, economy and compliance with the markets of the authorized company. There is biological damage to the business economic equation.

Now, these issues, which should be prevented and detected directly by the indicated organizations, reported and sanctioned more frequently, THERE ARE RESPONSIBLE PERSONS , in addition to the offending businessmen, and it is necessary that we make this clear; because in these types of events there are irresponsible public agents who contribute with their actions, inactions and inabilities to productive anarchy; to the uncontrolled administration of the resource and the consequent general predation.

When irregularities of this type occur, the vessel in question must be boarded or ordered to go immediately to the port (Art. 55 of Law 24,922) for its due inspection and initiation of the pertinent summary and the subsequent corresponding sanctions that could be ranging from the imposition of a fine, the confiscation of merchandise and the vessel, and even the loss of the authorization to fish. This did not happen and the argument used by the director of control and inspection of Fisheries Julián Suárez for not executing this order, is that he would have received the opposite indication from the Coordinator of the Foreign Ministry Pablo Ferrara and from the senior fisheries officials themselves.


The first conclusion we reach is that if it is necessary to report illegal acts by concessionaire companies for the Enforcement Authority to act, it is that - as we have already said on other occasions - the Argentine State does not manage the Argentine sea and This is the reason for the events that occurred in this “ witness case .”  


There are several people responsible for having failed to fulfill their duties as public officials on this occasion and it would be good to indicate them by name, because otherwise, responsibilities are diluted and they tend to be cut at the thinnest part of the thread. We cannot speak of exemplary administration, since it is known: “the fish rots at the head.”

Foreign Minister Diana Mondino appointed her nephew-in-law Pablo Ferrara - who would be the one who put pressure on the aforementioned Director of Audit - who lacks sufficient background or previous executive experience to occupy the positions that the Foreign Ministry assigns to him. Diplomatic sources indicate that he would have been appointed General Coordinator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ; He is assigned the functions of director of the COPLA (National Commission of the Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf) replacing Frida Armas Pfirter and, since January 26, 2024, he has been appointed representative of that Ministry before the Federal Fisheries Council, an organization which is neither integrated nor functional to date. Therefore, Ferrara would be a GNOQUI, with the aggravating factor that in addition to not belonging to the diplomatic corps, to whom this representation was usually assigned, fishing and maritime issues would They are totally unrelated, therefore, their contribution to the central task of this Council would be null and void, such as setting - no less - the fisheries policy.

The only precedent it has on the matter is the rejection that the Supreme Court of Justice carried out of the Collective Environmental Amparo Action against the National State that Pablo Ferrara presented with the aim of achieving the cessation of illegal fishing, in which The CSJ declared that “the process was outside its jurisdiction because it did not configure any of the assumptions that give rise to the original jurisdiction provided for in articles 116 and 117 of the National Constitution” and, we add, after reading the action and the ruling We see a lack of support in the writing; ignorance of the subject; lack of technical and scientific rigor, throwing confusion and darkness into the very serious illegal fishing carried out in the Southwestern Atlantic; It does not even contribute with its protection to legal knowledge and popular dissemination in this matter. We dare to say that if the Protection had been tried it would have been rejected due to lack of foundations and serious legal and technical inconsistencies.     

The Enforcement Authority in fisheries matters is the Secretary of Bioeconomy (formerly Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries) Fernando Vilella, who delegates his functions to the Undersecretary of Fisheries Juan Antonio López Cazorla and the director of Fisheries Control and Supervision Julián Álvarez who, as The name of his position indicates it, he is the one who must guarantee compliance with current legislation in the national maritime jurisdiction. The three are directly responsible for ensuring compliance with the Fisheries Law 24,922 but, with their inaction they compromise the sustainability of the species and the sustainability of third companies. Both issues have been put at risk by the “Tai An” ship.

We are informed ( Augusto Taglioni, 03/19/2024 ) that public agents Álvarez and Ferrara would have resigned due to the serious irregularity of not carrying out any action or preventing the pertinent actions respectively, in the face of what should be classified as illegal fishing for part of a national ship of Chinese capital in Argentine waters.All officials were informed in real time of the events because an inspector and an official observer were on board this ship.

By Agenda Malvinas


Other news about South Atlantic

Might interest you


No comments yet

Log in or sign up to comment.