In figure 9 above, the gray area represents the official EEZ and the orange outline shows a hot zone in international waters identified by Windward’s platform.
While 408 Argentinian-flagged vessels engaged in only +28,000 activities within the Argentinian EEZ, 444 Chinese and Taiwanese-flagged vessels participated in +60,000 fishing activities – all occurring in the hot zones flagged by Windward.
This kind of activity exposes Argentina to potential economic (and other types of) harm:
“‘The vessels that disappear along the edge of the national waters of Argentina could be pillaging its waters illegally,’ said Oceana’s deputy vice president of U.S. campaigns, Beth Lowell… ‘IUU fishing is wreaking havoc on our oceans, coastal communities, and people who depend on the oceans for their livelihoods.’…As part of (its) analysis (from January 1, 2018-April 25, 2021), Oceana documented more than 6,000 gap events, instances where AIS transmissions are not broadcast for more than 24 hours, which can indicate where vessels potentially disable their public tracking devices. These vessels were invisible for more than 600,000 total hours, hiding fishing vessel locations and masking potentially illegal behavior, such as crossing into Argentina’s national waters to fish…Interactions between the Argentine Coast Guard and suspected illegal fishing vessels have escalated to violence, with some deeming the conflict ‘a literal war.’”
In line with our supporting hubs analysis, Windward’s data showed that most of these Chinese and Taiwanese vessels use a few of our identified supporting hubs – Montevideo, Uruguay (10% as the origin port, 39% as the destination port) for Chinese vessels and Stanley Harbor, Falkland Islands (4% as the origin port, 4% as the destination port) for Taiwanese vessels – to continue their operations and discharge their illegal catch for sales.