Contributions on fishing in Argentina’s national Marine Protected Areas

Contributions on fishing in Argentina’s national Marine Protected Areas 3035 2150 The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea

• Strengthening the implementation of Argentina’s National System of Marine Protected Areas is fundamental to reach its objectives.

• A necessary condition is the integration of updated knowledge and the systematization of recommendations from all the actors involved.

• Under this premise, the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea convened representatives from various sectors to discuss and provide input on fishing in Argentina’s national Marine Protected Areas, within the framework of a virtual technical workshop held on December 3.

Fifty professionals from the institutions that make up the Permanent Advisory Committee of the National System of Marine Protected Areas (SNAMP) and other relevant public institutions, representatives of fishing chambers and associations, scientists with research topics in Marine Protected Areas (MPA), and members of civil society organizations participated in a dialogue facilitated by the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea. Based on the collaboration, a series of relevant aspects were identified to be taken into account in the management plans of national MPA with respect to fishing activities that could be authorized in the future.

The SNAMP is in an incipient state of management, having designated its enforcement authority -the National Parks Administration- less than four years ago. The implementation of the system requires its alignment with the principles established in the General Environmental Law and with various public policies focused on the sea. Such an important challenge entails the necessary articulation of the visions of government institutions, with a committed contribution from the private sector, academia and civil society.

The Workshop made it possible to exchange knowledge, experiences and perspectives in order to identify challenges, priorities and opportunities regarding fishing in national MPA, as well as to detect issues of consensus regarding progress in MPA management. There were three main areas of dialogue among the participants: standards of fishing sustainability, scientific and technical monitoring of interactions with the ecosystem, and challenges of institutional coordination.

The meeting was important for supporting the development of management plans for the large open water MPA in Argentina -Yaganes and Namuncurá-Burdwood Bank-, particularly with regard to the category of National Marine Reserve, a pending task that requires definition so that some aspects of the implementation and planning of the SNAMP can begin to be resolved.

This initiative is part of a project to strengthen MPAs coordinated by the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and its Areas of Influence, with the support of Oceans5.