By Roberto Maturana
The European Union subsidized the crime in Argentina with US $ 300,000,000, while Argentina also subsidized the pirate companies that triangulated permits, illegally fished species for which they were not authorized and committed all kinds of outrages.
More Documented Corruption !!!
Of the 17 fishing grounds in the world, an estimated 9 were totally devastated by overfishing. Of the remainder, 4 face an equivalent threat.
Fishing vessels dump 50 tonnes (50,000 kg) per day into the sea of fish fit for human consumption. At a rate of 1 kg. Per person and per day, in 30 days, 5,000,000 people could be fed. This equates to $ 250,000,000 per year.
The fishing treaty signed during the past decade, between our country and the European Union in 1994, caused the devastation and depredation of national fishing resources.
With the complicity of the officials on duty, international laws and conventions were systematically violated.
The European Union subsidized the crime in Argentina with US $ 300,000,000, while Argentina also subsidized the pirate companies that triangulated permits, illegally fished species for which they were not authorized and committed all kinds of outrages. The European Union also benefited its own fishing ground by reducing overfishing. These actions oblige the repair of the damage and the prosecution of those responsible.
Tentative Chronology of the Central Events of Fishing Activity in Argentina
1922 - The construction of the port of Mar del Plata ends, settling colonies of Italian fishermen in the city. The fishing fleet numbered 220 boats (sailing and steam).
1940 (circa) - National jurisdiction over the continental shelf and epicontinental sea was declared.
1967 - Promulgation of a Decree that allowed the entry of Spanish, Japanese and Soviet vessels into the Illex Squid harvests.
1970 (circa) - Heavy investment was recorded in fishmeal and fillet processing plants. Total catches: 200,000 TN.
1973 - Signature of the Río de la Plata Treaty. Create a common fishing zone between Argentina and Uruguay. It assigns wide areas of the Buenos Aires coastline for joint exploitation, in coastal and deep-sea fishing, with alternate closures for the capture of hake; this Treaty caused significant damage to the fishing resource.
Law 20,136, established that the resources of the sea could only be exploited by ships with the Argentine flag.
1980 - The Province of Buenos Aires, participated with 90% of the total catches
The Argentine fleet in this period was made up of 330 ships (120 high, 20 freezers and 18 factories).
1982 - The Convention on the Rights of the Sea (CONVEMAR), granted coastal countries jurisdiction over the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
1983 - Argentina signed fishing license agreements for foreign vessels. Mixed companies and joint ventures were established; This caused the crisis of several traditional Mar del Plata companies.
1986 - INIDEP report evaluating the 1966-1983 period, concluded that the hake resource was at the maximum sustainable yield level.
Framework agreements were signed with the USSR and Bulgaria. 40 factory vessels of more than 3,000 tons would fish south of the 47th parallel, until 1992. They overfished southern hake and cod, in the complete absence of controls.
From now on, INIDEP's technical reports will reveal a progressive deterioration in stocks, discouraging the entry of new vessels.
1987 - The system of onboard observers begins to operate, systematized in 1993 and then suspended.
1988.10.28 - Resolution 956 of the SAGyPA, establishes that from then on, the new licenses exclude the capture of hake; however, the number of vessels that preyed on this resource increased.
1989-1991 - Eng. Felipe Solá holds the position of Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
1990-2000 - Average landing size decreased from 44 to 40 Cmts. The total biomass was reduced by 50% in the North zone and by a third in the South zone.
The reproductive capacity of hake fell to 30%, being in a frank process of predation.
1991 - The Province of Buenos Aires participated with 60% of the total catches. Fish mortality that year was 25% higher than the average for previous years. The level of biomass decreased and had the lowest rates since the 1983-1990 period.
1991-1996 - The Patagonian provinces went from 38% of the total catches to 56.33%. The power in HP grew at a rate of 28,000 HP annually.
1992 - Beginning of negotiations with the European Union for the drafting of the Fisheries Cooperation Treaty.
Decree 1493 and various complementary resolutions, allowed Argentine shipowners to rent foreign jigger vessels for the capture of squid, bareboat; the facility was extended for three years and then was extended.
1992-1993 - Total production went from 700,000 Tn to 950,000 Tn.
1993-1998 - Ing. Felipe Solá, returns to occupy the position of Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Nation.
1994-2004 - The fleet throws 50 tons of fish daily into the sea.
1994.05.12 - The Agreement on relations in fishing matters between the European Union and Argentina enters into force for 5 years and automatically renewable for another 2.
19994.09.22 - Official opening of INIDEP based in the city of Mar del Plata.
1995 - The report of the INIDEP "On Board Observers" Project, found a high level of discards due to excess raw material on board. He also verified a difference of 61.9% between the information collected on board and the fishing report; the difference constitutes the discard.
FAO approves the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. FAO reports that fish discarding amounts to 30% of total world catches and that environmental degradation mainly affects coastal areas.
Of the total of 200,000 Tn. captured this year, 50% were captured by vessels chartered under Decree 1493.
Overfishing is already a very serious problem. For example, hake exceeded the maximum allowable catch by 44% (indicated at 398,000 tons).
Triangulations of fishing permits are found in open violation of laws 24,315 and 24,922; Donor vessels continue to fish without being terminated as planned. Almost all boats fish for hake, even with permits for other species. Maneuvers to transfer fishing permits from smaller vessels to larger ones are being carried out. Freezer ships appear converted into ice cream makers.
1995-1997 - 50% increase in the operating costs of the fishing fleet due to the longer duration of the trips in order to bring the same amount of cargo in the hold. Strong loss of income for workers who are paid in proportion to the catch.
1996 - The species Hake Hubbsi represented 81% of the catches of the fresh fleet. Total catches grew 45%. Squid fishing (Illex Argentinus) increased more than 6 times in relation to 1991. Exports reached 1,013 million dollars (11.6% more than the previous year). In volume, total exports amounted to 671,700 tons (15% more than the previous year); squid worth US $ 364 million (in 1991, US $ 24 million had been exported) and hake for US $ 265 million. Total catches: 1,225,958 Tn.
48% more than the maximum allowable catch was caught.
Eng. Felipe Solá issued a Resolution, protected by D.817 / 92, authorizing foreign personnel to occupy jobs on national vessels, in flagrant violation of the provisions of Federal Fishing Law 24,922. The Law provides that 75% of the embarked personnel be of Argentine nationality and that 10% of their production be discharged to land to be processed there. The irregular situation continues, still in 2004.
1997 - Increase of 97,000 Tn. in the possibilities of capture, violating Resolution 985/94 that regulated the replacement of vessels contemplated in the Agreement with the EU. Through legal tricks, the 16 "replaced" vessels out of a total of 25 continued to fish, despite the fact that they had to be discharged.
Biomass was reduced to critical levels. The entry of vessels with the original license for other species was used in almost all cases as an entry key to gain access to Argentine hake.
1997-1998 - There is almost no incorporation of new vessels.
1998 - There was a general decrease in catches due to the low season of squid and restrictions on hake. Total catch: 1,100,000 Tn.
The port of Madryn increased its participation from 5 to 25% of the total and that of Mar del Plata reduced it from 60% (in 1985) to 30%.
1998.01.12 - Law 24.922 creates the Federal Fisheries Council (CFP), an organism that will establish the national fishing policy from now on.
1998-1999 - The number of permits granted to Spanish companies for shrimp fishing grows strongly.
1999 - The Argentine fishing fleet is made up of 150 fresh warehouses, 450 coastal ones and 200 freezers and factories.
The CFP tried to limit catches by Resolution 2/99, providing that no operator would catch more than 50% of what was caught the previous year.
1999.04 - The CFP establishes a total ban on the capture of Hubbsi Hake, which was not fully complied with due to the action of various opposing interests.
1999.05 - The FAO Interministerial Meeting evaluates the application of the Code of Conduct and notes the excess of fishing capacity, the lack of controls and the subsidies that contribute to predation in third countries; as well as the existence of illegal fishing.
1999.05.28 - The Agreement with the European Union ceases to be in force due to the denunciation of Argentina, as allowed by the Agreement as a right of both parties.
1999.06.24 - Law 25.109 on Fishing Emergency suspends until December 31 the allocation of quotas for the quota established in Law 24.922 for hake. It moves the freezing fleet to the South of the 48th Parallel and outside the 200 nautical miles and allocates the available hake catch to the cooling fleet.
After a public conflict between refrigerators who claimed to defend jobs and freezers who alleged discrimination, the Executive and Legislative powers entered into a conflict of rules. One day before the Emergency Law came into force, the Executive Power issued Decree 591/99, transferring the freezer fleet to mile marker 150 and assigning the available catch to the CFP, benefiting the supply of plants processors on land: it was determined that way, regardless of whether the vessels were refrigerators or freezers.
The Nation requested a loan from the World Bank to finance the reconversion of the fleet and alleviate the social effects of the crisis.
2000 - Presentation of the report commissioned by the Federal Fisheries Council to the UBA, drawn up by an interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Gregorio Flax at a cost of $ 400,000. The investigation carried out amid significant obstacles posed by officials of the National Directorate of Fisheries, found numerous irregularities, although it did not lead to legal cases. The original report was deliberately destroyed and ignored by the very fisheries authorities that had requested it. Officials Regúnaga, Georgiadis, Quincke and Videla, would be involved in the irregularities due to their efforts in the SOLA Menem administration.
Case 2,751 before the Federal Judge of Mar del Plata, Robbio, which contains complaints for false permits and other serious issues, similar to those contained in the UBA Report; It consists of 10 file bodies and a defendant not prosecuted; the Cause is in the Chamber as of February 2004.
2001 - Squid predation at mile 201 (just on the edge of the Exclusive Economic Zone). SAGyPA Secretary Berongharay told the press: "There are more than 300 boats. But now we have no way to stop the tremendous predation of squid" (02/21/2001).
Fisheries Undersecretary Rieznik raises the need to extend national control 150 miles beyond the EEZ; action that Chile, Peru and Ecuador had already carried out with an advantage in the recovery of the fishing grounds.
Some attributed the invasion of boats in the outer limit contiguous to the EEZ, to the fact of the current prohibition for Argentine boats to fish in a corridor from North to South, between miles 170 and 200.
08.01.31 - Commencement of Case 15.673 before the Federal Court of Mar del Plata, of Dr. Vázquez, by the Merchant Marine Officer Roberto Maturana. It concerns the squid charter and violations of Federal Fishing Law 24,315; It involves Ing. Felipe Solá, among others. This Cause is related to 15,540 before the same Court and for the same cause, based on environmental contamination, given that the non-existence of the fishmeal processing plants required by the Law was found to process the discard on board.
2001.11.07 - Undersecretary Berhongaray, despite having the detailed investigation of the UBA in his possession, authorized the re-registration of 509 vessels; the CFP did not object to the measure.
2002 - The Undersecretary of Fisheries, Daniel García, initiated a series of summaries to determine why the head of the area during De la Rúa's administration, Antonio Berhongaray, ignored the report entrusted to the UBA; as well as to establish the circumstances of his disappearance.
The Chubut senator Marcelo Guinle, presented a request for information so that the PEN issued on the irregularities verified by the UBA Report, in the fishing permits between 1975-2000.
In the first half of that year, a volume similar to that of the whole of 2001 was caught: 36,000 tonnes. The potential catch capacity, due to the lack of controls, amounted to 171,000 tonnes.
2002.07- Resolution 153/02 authorizes fishing within the Hubbsi Hake closed area, based on INIDEP report 43, which also determines that an increase of 20% on the catch of hake would increase the fishing mortality of a 30% to 90%.
The Opinion of the General Auditor of the Nation No. 69/02 is issued, which analyzes the sector from March 1998 to July 2001. It verifies numerous irregularities and violations of the Federal Fisheries Law and Art. 41 of the National Constitution.
2002.11 - The national senator for Tierra del Fuego, Mario Daniele, presented a Request for Information on the system of sanctions applied to fishing. According to the audit report of the General Auditor of the Nation, in the period 1999-2000, 2,300 files were accumulated, while the area had only 4 lawyers; delays in resolving the cases lasted up to eight years.
2002-2003 - The MOMPESAT satellite monitoring system, recognized in the world as the safest, was deliberately dropped by the SAGyPA Undersecretary, Gerardo Nieto; Act that benefited the vessels that fished during the 2002-2003 closure, resulting in a disproportionate increase in the catches of hake.
Among other irregularities, Undersecretary Nieto, from Santa Cruz, failed to apply the corresponding sanctions to the CONARPESA company, whose vessels were detected within the closed zone, created for the protection and breeding of prawns. These acts of the violation of the closed zone were denounced by rival companies.
Undersecretary Nieto also failed to denounce the former Undersecretary of the Marziale area, for handing over the position to him in the absence of the file on the vessel Santa Eugenia. That same file gave rise to a ruling from the National Treasury Attorney, decreeing the invalidity of several fishing permits. The PTN opinion was not referred to the courts.
2003.03.11 - The National Treasury Office issued opinion 163/03, establishing the nullity of Resolutions SAGyPA 182 and 45 of 1999 and that the nullity should be promoted in court. The vessels involved continue to fish illegally as of March 2004.
2004.02.27 - Resolution 73/04 lifts the prohibition of fishing north of Parallel 48; since to the South, the predation diminished the profitability of the fishing. This Resolution changes the percentages established by Resolution 73/04 (70% for the cooling vessels and 30% for the freezers) to 78% for the cooling vessels and 22% for the freezers; Due to this provision, the entire continental maritime shelf will be available for uncontrolled overfishing due to the unreliability and lack of technical means and the corruption that the entire system has clearly demonstrated over many years.
In addition, Resolution 73/04 implies the repeal of the Fisheries Emergency Law, so it would also be null and void, as is the current Resolution 484/2004.
Long live the homeland Mr. President !!!
I neither forgive nor forget
I do not give up.
* Merchant Marine Officer-Investigator