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Official accused of preventing sanctions on the Chinese vessel that illegally caught 163 tons of toothfish resigned

The separation occurs in the midst of controversy over alleged pressure from the Foreign Ministry to favor a Tai An fishing vessel, belonging to the Chinese Liu Zhijiang.

24 de March de 2024 10:36

The Tai An, yesterday afternoon, moored in the port of Ushuaia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina , Diana Mondino, accepted this Friday the resignation of Pablo Ferrara Raisberg in his role as representative of the Foreign Ministry in the Federal Fisheries Council; after being accused of pressuring the Director of Fisheries, Julián Álvarez , to allow illegal fishing maneuvers for toothfish to be carried out.

This is the second dismissal in the Government after this scandal due to alleged pressure from the Foreign Ministry to favor a fishing vessel belonging to the Chinese businessman Liu Zhijiang based in Ushuaia. Precisely, Tuesday the 19th, the director of Fisheries Control and Inspection Julián presented his unwavering resignation Álvarez , after denouncing pressure from Ferrara Raisberg in favor of the Chinese businessman who owns the Tai An fishing vessel . Foreign Ministry official who also submitted his resignation on Wednesday the 20th.

Diana Mondino and her nephew-in-law, Pablo Ferrara Raisberg

The situation occurred when Suárez said he received intimidating calls from Ferrara Raisberg , demanding that he lower an order against the fishing vessel Tai An for illegally extracting 163 tons of toothfish in South Atlantic waters.

The ship was caught in the middle of the scandal when three companies in the sector denounced that the Chinese-owned but Argentine-flagged vessel was fishing for toothfish without permission and the Undersecretariat of Fisheries did not initiate any action to prevent it due to alleged pressure from the Foreign Ministry.

Days ago, the Tai An was fishing in a prohibited area for the coveted toothfish, which is under a quota regime that has existed for 15 years. That is, this species cannot be fished without authorization, neither local nor foreign boats.

  The ship did not have any type of authorized extra quota and it was detected that it had 163 tons of these species of hake, so the Prefecture was notified and it was ordered to immediately return to port. At that moment the call came from the Chancellery.

The official who communicated with Álvarez in an intimidating tone was Ferrara Raisberg . Ferrara questioned the procedure and ordered that the ship should not return to port. The action was described as an excessive interference in an area outside its orbit.

Patagonian hake is a highly sought after and scarce species. It has a selling price per ton of up to USD 30,000; and per year about 3,700 tons are authorized to fish in the Argentine Sea.Therefore, the 163 tons on a single ship, in one day; It was a significant number, almost 5 million dollars in final sales value.


By Agenda Malvinas


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