This weekend, the Argentine Departments of Security and Agro-industry caught a Spanish flag vessel in Argentine waters (Argentina’s exclusive economic zone) carrying more than 320 tons of fish.
Because of where the ship was located, Argentina officials say the fish belongs to them, but the Spanish claim the fish were caught in international waters (which would mean that they’re fair game). Now, Argentine officials say that Spain could have to pay up to AR $10 million (around half a million US dollars), La Nación reports.
According to the official government report, “the National Fishing Coordination Office will begin a legal summary for the payment of the fine, which will be between 5 and 10 million pesos. The Argentine government will maintain custody of the ship until the payment is made.”
The boat, Playa Pesmar Uno, was captured in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, on February 4, and it had set sail from Montevideo on January 11. Spanish officials continue to maintain no wrongdoing on their part, hoping the “blue box,” which tracks boats’ movement via satellite, will help their case.
Javier Touza, the president of the Spanish Shipowners Association of Vigo (ARVI), said there are “two versions of the facts.” Meanwhile, Argentina’s Security minister Patricia Bullrich said she is working to reclaim the “resources that belong to Argentina.”
We’ll see who pays up in the end.