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Atlantic Ocean, "US, Argentina to Cooperate, Combat Illegal Chinese Fishing," reports Dialogo Americas

President Milei is increasingly in tune with the U.S.

(Dialogo Americas) Starting this April, the U.S. Coast Guard and Argentine Navy will begin conducting joint exercises aimed at combating illegal Chinese fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.

File photo. Handout picture released by the Argentine Navy Press Office showing the ARA Bouchard Ocean Patrol escorting a Chinese flag fishing vessel after it was caught illegally operating in Argentina’s Exclusive Economic Zone, May 4, 2020. (Photo: Argentine Navy)

Argentina, Chile, and Peru have criticized Chinese-operated craft for large-scale invasive fishing in their territorial waters without regulation, which the South American countries say is depleting fish stock and damaging the natural biodiversity of the southwest Atlantic. It is a key nesting area for seabirds and feeding area for marine mammals.

The U.S. Coast Guard will send its destroyer, the USS James, to work with Argentine vessels to curb these fishing practices.

According to data from nongovernmental organization (NGO) Global Fishing Watch, nearly 3,000 deepwater fishing boats operate under the Chinese flag globally, including about 400 in the southwest Atlantic, often targeting Argentine squid and Patagonian toothfish. The NGO says Chinese vessel activity in the southwest Atlantic increased from 61,727 hours per 500 square kilometers in 2013 to 384,046 hours in 2023.

Since 1986, Argentine authorities have seized 80 foreign-flagged boats fishing in their waters, including sinking Chinese and Taiwanese ships.

The upcoming joint U.S.-Argentina cruise to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated or IUU fishing, mainly by Chinese fishing vessels, is part of a global and ongoing effort to strengthen maritime security partnerships. In 2020, the United States launched a new strategy to combat IUU fishing, and the Coast Guard is spearheading that effort. In South America, it has already stepped-up cooperation with Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.

“The producing provinces of Patagonia have warned about the serious situation of illegal fishing and President Milei has a very clear position in relation to China,” Gabriela Ippolito O’Donnell, a political science professor at the National University of San Martín in Argentina, told VOA Mandarin.

“President Milei is undoubtedly in tune with the USA […].”

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