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Image: : courtesy Revista Puerto

Why MPA management plans are delayed?

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Monday, November 22, 2021, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

From the Directorate of Marine Protected Areas they reported that the lack of progress in the issuance of management measures that allow fishing within them responds to the lack of budget and coordination with other government areas, but they assure that they are taking slow but safe steps 

They gave a quick response from the Directorate of Marine Protected Areas, dependent on the National Parks Administration, to the requirements of a company in the fishing sector regarding the delay in the issuance of a Management Plan that allows entering to carry out fishing activity in the protected areas. The lack of response from higher bodies and the lack of budget are the main reasons listed by the official in charge, Mercedes Santos. However, the Director explained that, despite the delays they have had in the execution of actions that allow arriving at a management plan, they are within the times stipulated by law and that the regulation process of MPAs is complex and it takes time.

Click image to enlarge

Last week a note from the Argenova firm entered the Federal Fisheries Council through which it claimed to the Directorate of Marine Protected Areas, dependent on the Administration of National Parks, the prompt implementation of the Management Plan for the Yaganes and protected areas. Burdwood Bank I and II. Although they are still within the deadline for submission established by law for the MPA management plan, the firm assures that the absence of administration measures is causing damage to those who exploit the toothfish species and complicating the operation of ships.

The director of the area, Mercedes Santos, not only acknowledged receipt but also gave a prompt response in which she explains the reasons why the presentation of the management plan is delayed. The first reason given is the fact that the Directorate under his charge was headless from January to July 2020, "which caused delays in the agreed tasks, as well as in the projects that allow the financing of the actions you mention" , indicates the letter.

On the other hand, she clarifies that, although there are points of agreement with the previous administration, they consider that it is necessary to include the participation of a consultant or facilitator to improve the articulation of the interests of the different sectors.

“However, for your peace of mind,” says the director, “we are working on the management plan” and informs that they hope to be able to hold a workshop over the course of next year that will result in a document that reflects the agreements reached in 2019. , on the MPA management plan, which is not the same as a management plan.

To advance in the management plan they are "in the process of hiring a consultant", and reports "that the hiring was requested for this year 2021, but for reasons beyond the control of this Directorate, it is scheduled for early 2022", clarifies and remarks: "The delay in hiring is beyond the control of this Directorate, since it responds to an administrative question that exceeds us."

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

On the other hand, it informs that financing is also being sought within the World Bank project of "Sustainable Recovery of Landscapes and Livelihoods" in which the National Parks Administration has applied since 2020, in order to "hire personnel for development of the management plans and fisheries management of the AMP Yaganes ”.

In another example of the lack of response from the National Administration to the requirements of this Directorate, she points out that the hiring “was going to start this year 2021 but it is expected to start between the first and second semester of next year. Once again, the approval and initiation of it exceeds the will of the National Directorate of Marine Protected Areas ”.

She also tells that they have had conversations with the Naval Hydrography Service about the progress of the new nautical chart, since an update is required that better reflects the 200-meter isobath: "Since it is an area of ​​interest for the fishery , we are working to achieve a solution that does not detract from the activity ”. And training in certifications in order to have an incentive for the industry.

Click image to enlarge

Finally, the director assures that they seek to "develop collaborative science projects where the industry can provide knowledge to the MPAs", but clarifies that regulations in these areas take time and require coordination with other ministries, in addition to industry and civil society. . However, she celebrates the interest of the sector and declares that the concern about the progress of the Management Plan is noted.

“We are moving slowly, but surely, to create the conditions for the study, inspection and governance of MPAs. The time stipulated by law for the creation of the management plan takes into account the intra and inter-institutional times that this task entails ”, she concludes.

The lack of financial means, personnel and response from the authorities of the Ministry of the Environment has already generated a delay of at least two years in the issuance of a management plan for the MPAs and the same occurs with the specific management plans for the fishing exploitation. If the budget items are assigned in time and form, the Directorate of AMP will be able to advance, otherwise the time will continue to stretch.

Mercedes Santos has been clear and it is not the first time that it has happened, she has already warned about the unfeasibility of the project on the creation of the Blue Hole AMP due to the lack of budget and the impossibility of being able to address all the issues inherent to its management. The allocation of funds seems to be key to be able to advance safely for faster.

Longliner Argenova XIV (Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto)

The laziness of the Public Administration can have consequences that go against the interests of the State and the preservation of the environment, as demonstrated by a recent Supreme Court ruling. The province of Santa Cruz will have to compensate two companies that demanded the lack of management plans in the Magallanes Peninsula Reserve, which has caused damage to the landowners in that area and it was ordered that in no longer term A management plan is established within 20 days, otherwise the prohibitions established for the preservation of the environment will be declared invalid.

Special treatment for longline vessel

In the note sent by Argenova, a request for special treatment was also made to the vessel Argenova XIV, as it is the only unit with selective longline fishing gear. In this regard, the Director decided not to issue an opinion at this time, but said that it will be considered in the discussion of the fisheries management plan, which will be carried out by a consultant, through open and participatory workshops where they will be convened.

The company's legal representative, Mauro Zamboni, was pleased with the prompt response and reaffirmed that he considers it important that special treatment be given to the only vessel with selective gears for black hake fishing. “In short, it will be marking specimens by INIDEP, with which it only remains to wait for the result of these new studies and for the State to have a proactive attitude with those vessels that do not interfere with the purpose for which the MPAs were created. ”, he concluded.

Auhtor / Source: Karina Fernandez / Revista Puerto (article available only in spanish)

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