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Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Thursday, September 22, 2022, 06:00 (GMT + 9)

Taking into account the percentages of illegal fishing deduced by the FAO, the Center for Studies for Latin American Fisheries (CESPEL, 2022) evaluated that, without taking into account the discards of incidental fishing and/or non-commercial species, carried out by the coastal States In the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Latin America and the Caribbean, the flag States that fish remotely for migratory fishery resources carry out ILLEGAL FISHING of the order of 7.8 million tons per year for some 11,770 million US dollars. and, according to the FAO, in Area 31 (Central Western Atlantic) 37% of the fishing stocks are biologically unsustainable; in Area 41 (Southwest Atlantic) 40%; in Area 77 (Central Eastern Pacific) 14.3% and, in Area 87 (Southeast Pacific) 66.7% and, as the aforementioned FAO report refers, the main responsible parties are the flag States (Figure 24 “Percentages of Biologically sustainable and unsustainable fishery stocks by FAO Mayor Fishing Area, 2019).

«Understanding by ILLEGAL FISHING, and with the technicality of IUU (illegal, unreported, unregistered) to that which fishery species are captured voluntarily and / or freely, without fully or partially complying with the international or national regulation of origin and / or without independent control and/or if it is captured on the high seas without control of the flag State and without prior agreement between it and the coastal States in those species that interact or are associated or are migratory originating from the EEZs or, where any act is carried out , of any nature, that threatens the sustainability of fishing species and/or pollutes the environment and/or threatens food and economic security, benefiting transnational organized crime and tax evasion» (César Lerena, “Pesca. Apropiación y depredation” Ed. South Project, 2014).

Faced with this, we see that there are no minor offenses against ILLEGAL FISHING, since the depredation of fishing resources and the contamination of the marine environment are serious facts that threaten the ecosystem and the food resources of humanity and, we see, that Despite the different Conventions, Agreements, Codes and Plans approved by States and multilateral Organizations in order to eradicate or minimize the negative effects derived from ILLEGAL FISHING, all these meetings and measures have been insufficient and ineffective, in attention to that after more than thirty years of approval, this illegal activity persists and grows.

With the need to put an end to ILLEGAL FISHING that, both in the jurisdictions of the States, and on the high seas, alienate the fishing resources of the coastal States, putting the sustainability of the species at risk and impeding economic and social development; the sustainable activity of the fisheries and the feeding of the peoples; We have analyzed all the fishing laws of the States of Latin America and the Caribbean, to study, in what way, the governments of each one of the countries, from their local legislations, have the necessary instruments to fight against this scourge that threatens less developed nations, contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Development of the Sea and the rules and recommendations of the FAO.

The latter highlights that at least 30% of catches are illegal, generating some 36 billion dollars annually (FAO, 2016, p 05-06) irregularly and, in unfair competition with those who fish and market, complying with the national and international standards.

As a need to have the due knowledge of the fishing laws of the continent to carry out the work of "Illegal Fishing and Migratory Fishing Resources Originating from the Coastal States of Latin America and the Caribbean" (2022), which we have concluded these days, we analyze the Laws of the coastal States of Latin America and the Caribbean in relation to Illegal Fishing and the care of migratory resources originating in the EEZs of the Republics of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Pto. Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela, which we will publish successively.

It is evident that, in light of the facts, the States of Latin America and the Caribbean should unite to try to eradicate these illegal practices, and this could begin by reconciling the different legislations in the region, in order to unify actions that can be central to present a united front that makes it difficult for vessels that fish illegally and prevent catches on the high seas that are not controlled by the flag States and not agreed upon with the coastal States and, appreciating the FAO Regulatory Report III of fishing species on the high seas, outside national jurisdiction, where it is stated that "in accordance with international law, a State may condition access to fishing within its exclusive jurisdiction and, outside of it, take certain measures when acts that may influence their area of ​​jurisdiction”; that is, both the coastal State and the flag State are compelled to agree to guarantee the sustainability of the species in the region.

Proving that in the face of population growth and growing protein needs; to the modification of policies by the flag States to seize natural resources; the growing inequality between great powers and developing states; the great changes in the economies of fishing companies, markets and technological advances, etc. it is necessary to perfect and harmonize the tools available to the coastal States, so that they serve with greater efficiency and effectiveness the integral protection of the resources, both in the EEZs and on the high seas, and allow a more equitable exploitation by the coastal and flag States.

From this analysis we can make a preliminary opinion, where we verify that all the fishing laws of the different countries have strengths and weaknesses and that their compatibility can be very useful for all the Nations of the region.

Dr. César Augusto Lerena

South Atlantic and Fisheries Expert – Former Secretary of State

Presidente de la Fundación Agustina Lerena 1

Presidente Centro de Estudios para la Pesca Latinoamericana (CESPEL) 2 .

Autor de “Pesca Ilegal y Recursos Pesqueros Migratorios Originarios de los Estados Ribereños de

Latinoamérica y El Caribe” (2022)

(1) Fundada el 21/10/2002; (2) Fundada el 2/4/1989

Septiembre de 2022 (ISBN 978-987-29323-9-8)

Note: Starting tomorrow, the 17 Fisheries Analysis of the Republics of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela will be published daily, one by one.

[email protected]


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