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At the UN headquarters, Foreign Minister Diana Mondino signed the Agreement on the (BBNJ) before the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Miguel de Serpa Soares

Illegal and unregulated fishing: Argentina takes a fundamental step to protect mile 201

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 06:30 (GMT + 9)

The country signed a key agreement to protect marine diversity in the high seas, an area that does not have an international conservation framework.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mrs. Diana Mondino signed a key agreement in New York to combat unregulated fishing beyond mile 200. This tool allows, once implemented, the creation of maritime protection areas on the high seas, such as what could happen at the edge of the Argentine Sea, an area of intense fishing pressure without any control.

“This agreement is fundamental to protect and advance the responsible exploitation of marine resources that are the heritage of humanity and on which South American countries largely depend,” said Milko Schvartzman, in charge of the Oceans program at the Círculo de Políticas Ambientales.

In this way, Argentina joins the 90 nations that have already signed this international instrument within the Framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Located Outside of National Jurisdiction, also known as BBNJ.

According to Martina Sasso, founder of the NGO “Por el Mar”, she explained: “Right on the edge of the Argentine Sea, at mile 201, Argentina is the protagonist of one of the greatest fishing pressure points on the planet. The implementation of the BBNJ agreement provides one more tool to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This framework gives Argentina the possibility of proposing a marine protected area outside national jurisdiction that allows it to put an end to the plundering of our fisheries in the hands of more than 600 foreign vessels. “

The Agreement, which was adopted on June 19, 2023, has as its pillars the fair and equitable distribution of the benefits of marine genetic resources; environmental impact assessments; capacity building and marine technology transfer; and the implementation of area-based management tools, including marine protected areas.

Argentina was a protagonist in the genesis of the BBNJ and in the crucial processes in which the UN decided to advance an agreement of this scale, such as the Rio+20 summit, in 2012. The next step, now, is for the country to advance in the internal ratification process, so that the Agreement can enter into force, and it is possible to create truly effective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in international waters. The BBNJ excludes any possibility of discretionary interpretations regarding sovereignty conflicts.

Milko Schvartzman explained: "From the organizations that have been working for years for its entry into force, we recognize this important step towards the conservation of the marine resources of the South Atlantic and the entire planet."

The South Atlantic is one of the most overexploited areas on the entire planet due to uncontrolled fishing carried out by more than 500 vessels from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Spain. Argentina is one of the most affected by this type of deep sea fishing since the ecosystem is the same inside and outside the Exclusive Economic Zone. At the same time, while fishing is taking place at mile 201, some boats have entered illegally, affecting national sovereignty.

Source: Círculo de Políticas Ambientales

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