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Falkland Islands Government welcomes “positive step” by Argentina in marine conservation

The Falkland Islands Government has 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 “positive step” in the interest of marine conservation and fisheries management.

However 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.

In a letter sent on behalf of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly, Dr Barry Elsby 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.

Dr Elsby said 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.  “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.”

  • Click here for the full text of the letter.