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Home | Categories | Fisheries Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

Falklands : Fisheries Management on Birdwood Bank a positive step says FIG
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.08.2013 (Article Archived on 21.09.2013)

Recently the Falkland Islands Government welcomed the announcement by the Senate of Argentina of the establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) within the area of Burdwood Bank which lies within the Argentine Economic Zone, describing it as a gpositive steph in the interest of marine conservation and fisheries management.





 Fisheries Management on Birdwood Bank a
positive step says FIG



 



By J.
Brock (FINN)



 



 



Recently the Falkland Islands
Government welcomed the announcement by the Senate of Argentina of the
establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) within the area of Burdwood Bank
which lies within the Argentine Economic Zone, describing it as a gpositive
steph in the interest of marine conservation and fisheries management.



 



More noticeable was the inclusion
of an area of Burdwood Bank which falls within the Falklands Inner & Outer
Conservation Zones (FICZ & FOCZ respectively) has been rejected by the
Falkland Islands Government.



 



Dr Barry Elsby, in a letter sent
on behalf of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly,  said practical co
]operation
on safeguarding straddling fish stocks was the responsibility of both the
Falkland Islands Government and the Argentine Government. The Falkland Islands
Government was willing to discuss any actions which could be reasonably taken
to support the Government of Argentina in these efforts. He encouraged the
resumption of scientific exchanges under the auspices of the South Atlantic Fisheries
Commission, which last met in full in 2005. Thereafter, Argentina became
increasingly uncooperative over the workings of the Commission.



 



He continued that the Falkland
Islands Government hoped the formation of the MPA heralded a more positive and
constructive approach to issues in the South Atlantic and towards the Falkland
Islands. gBy cooperating in areas of mutual interest, talking to one another as
democratically elected representatives of our respective countries we might
find areas of common ground.h



 



The letter follows:



 



26 July 2013



Foreign
Minister Hector Timerman



Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Worship



Buenos
Aires, Republic of Argentina



 



 



Your Excellency



 



The Falkland Islands Government
has noted with interest the recent public announcement by the Senate of
Argentina on the establishment of a Marine Protected Area within the area of
Burdwood Bank which falls within the recognised boundaries of the Argentine
Economic Exclusion Zone. Such a positive step by the Government of Argentina in
the interest of marine conservation and fisheries management is welcomed by the
Falkland Islands Government. However, we firmly reject the applicability of
Argentine domestic legislation within the area of Burdwood Bank which falls
within the Falklands Outer Conservation Zone (FOCZ) and the Falklands Inner
Conservation Zone (FICZ). Within these areas the Falkland Islands Government
retains the sole authority and responsibility for marine management and
conservation matters.



 



In acknowledging this measure, we
would welcome the resumption of scientific exchanges under the auspices of the
South Atlantic Fisheries Commission (SAFC). It is a matter of profound regret
that the Government of Argentina withdrew its participation from the SAFC. Both
the Falkland Islands Government and the Government of Argentina have an
important responsibility, both to the environment and to future generations, to
resume practical co
]operation on safeguarding
straddling fish stocks within our respective economic and conservation zones.
To this end the Falkland Islands Government would welcome sight of the Marine
Protection Areafs management plan to better understand its implications for the
wider region. We are willing to discuss any actions that we could reasonably
take to support the Government of Argentina in these efforts.



 



Conservation and sustainability
have been the cornerstone of our fisheries policy since the establishment of
the Falklands fishery 25 years ago. It is therefore important, in the view of
the Falkland Islands Government, to exchange data and discuss the scientific
rationale behind policy decisions such as season start dates and allowable cast
volumes. Resumption of dialogue with Argentina, involving relevant experts from
the United Kingdom, would be a crucial step forward. However, it must be
clearly understood by all parties that such exchanges would only cover
practical issues of mutual benefit and will not involve, or be regarded as a
precursor to, discussions about the sovereignty of our Islands. As was
evidenced by the overwhelming number of eligible Falkland Island voters in our
recent referendum (99.8%), we are extremely happy to maintain our current
political status as a British Overseas Territory.



 



The Falkland Islands Government
hopes that the creation of a Marine Protected Area within the area of Burdwood
Bank which falls within the recognised boundaries of the Argentine Economic
Exclusion Zone heralds a more positive and constructive approach to issues in
the South Atlantic and towards the Falkland Islands. By cooperating in areas of
mutual interest, talking to one another as democratically elected
representatives of our respective countries we might find areas of common
ground. Attempts to ignore or dismiss the Falkland Islanders are not the
actions of a modern democracy which respects human rights or the rule of law.



 



Yours Sincerely



The Hon. Dr Barry Elsby MLA



On behalf of the Falkland Islands
Legislative Assembly



 

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