Argentina bans fishing, trawling in eco-rich area
October 9, 2008
The government of Argentina has banned commercial fishing along Burdwood Bank, an 1,800 square kilometer (694 square mile) submerged island off its southern coast, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
Burdwood Bank is rich with endemic species and serves as an important feeding ground for sea lions, penguins, albatross and other marine life. The area is also a breeding site for southern blue whiting and Fuegian sardine and supports unique hard and soft coral species.
WCS reports that the Argentine Fisheries Secretary permanently banned all fishing activities in the area — including bottom trawling — on September 26th, 2008.
“Armed with sound science, Consejo Federal Pesquero has taken a big step in ensuring sustainability in Argentina’s fishing industry by protecting Burdwood Bank,” said Dr. Claudio Campagna, of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Sea and Sky Program, an initiative that seeks to sustainably manage the Patagonian Large Marine Ecosystem. “With the protection of this small, but critical area, the ocean is better able to replenish what we take from it, and equally important, Argentina’s unique biodiversity is preserved.”
WCS says that the Patagonian Large Marine Ecosystem sustains “some of the southern hemisphere’s richest marine resources”, important both for the Argentine economy and the region’s ecology.
WCS’s Sea and Sky initiative is funded by the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas and the Liz Claiborne/Art Ortenberg Foundation.