Prefecture looks forward to the tender to incorporate four new coast guards

In the first days of May, the tender for the purchase of these vessels will be opened. From the southernmost dependency of Argentina, the authorities justified the importance of expanding a fleet that is already more than 40 years old.

30 de April de 2024 10:47

Prefecture deals with the maritime coastline divided into three sections, Mar del Plata, Río Gallegos and Ushuaia.

The Agenda Malvinas team visited the facilities of the Argentine Naval Prefecture to learn the details of the activity carried out by the force from the provincial capital .

We were received by the head of the Ushuaia Naval Prefecture, Mayor Cristián Alejandro Francisco Sarasua , who gave us an overview of the institution's daily activities. The talk took place overlooking a Beagle Channel covered by the mantle of fine rain, painted on the windows of the office, during the morning of Friday, April 26.

Then, the prefect guided us on a tour of the monitoring system room , where we were able to learn about the control of our country's marine platform .

It is worth saying that the patrol work with the maritime police power , carried out by the Prefecture, has recently taken on relevance with the detection of a Chilean tugboat and a Taiwanese fishing boat coming from the Malvinas without the corresponding Argentine authorization.

This is because, by the national Maritime ordinance , any vessel that travels to Puerto Argentino, in the Malvinas Islands, has to present an authorization for that crossing , one week in advance, if it intends to navigate through the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Currently, the surveillance of those 200 nautical miles from Mar del Plata to the south is carried out in conjunction with the Navy , through the support of planes that “go ahead and combine with the exchange.”

Also highlighted is the work by agreement with CONAE , which allows, through its satellite system; information to detect fishing vessels that turn off their location systems (AIS) .

In addition to responding to possible requests for help and detecting violations of the law , the Prefecture keeps alive the Argentine claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas by monitoring and reporting on the vessels that continue to prey on and economically exploit the natural resources that correspond to our country and particularly to the province. of Tierra del Fuego in the South Atlantic.

For example, the institution is in charge of receiving the route sheet of the ships and cruises that arrive at the port of Ushuaia, where companies must inform if they plan to touch the Puerto Argentino dock, in the Malvinas Islands, and if not inform -for the purpose of the corresponding authorization-, the vessels are sanctioned for violating Argentine regulations , as in the aforementioned case of the Chilean tugboat and the Taiwanese fishing vessel .

Although they are isolated situations, Sarasua commented that, when notifying the stopover in Malvinas, some companies have been “somewhat reluctant” to change the name from Puerto Argentino to Puerto Argentino in the registration of the route, having to do it anyway, because that our country only allows the use of the name Puerto Argentino, and does not recognize the name imposed by the usurpers of the islands.


The need for new ships

Ushuaia Naval Prefecture is waiting for the tender, in the first days of May, according to the head of the force, for a number of four new coast guard vessels to patrol the Argentine sea.

It is worth remembering that the units in the current fleet are more than 40 years old and Sarasua is looking forward to the progress of the bureaucratic procedures for new acquisitions.

On May 18, one of the Type 24 national coast guard vessels is scheduled to dock at the Port of Ushuaia, allowing full patrol of the 200 miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone . The rest of the vessels that the Naval Prefecture has are too small to cover that entire area, and they only sail through the Beagle Channel, to the Island of the States.

This could change if the tender for the purchase of the four vessels is finalized , two of them to be manufactured through a foreign company, and another two in a local shipyard, through technology transfer.

This is an investment project in new ships, which comes from the previous government of Alberto Fernández , and for which at least three companies have presented themselves.

Although the vessels in operation today have their spare parts and maintenance tasks up to date, the vessels used by the force in the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands, are clearly of outdated technology.

In this context, Prefect Sarasua expressed the expectation that the tender , suspended at the time due to the 2023 national elections, will finally be completed in the coming months.

“With that we would be improving. The issue is that our coast guards are from the year 80, that is, they have not been renewed for more than 40 years," explained the head of the department. "Even so, they are working very well, and they have their inspection and modernization dates." , he pondered.

At the same time, he highlighted the desire that “this desire that we prefecturians have had for a long time come to fruition,” taking into account that “we were relegated several times.”


By Agenda Malvinas


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