Published: Monday 15 April 1996

Trouble seems to be brewing yet again between Argentina and UK. The thorny issue this time involves fishing in the waters around South Georgia, some 1,287 km south-east of the disputed Falkland islands. An Argentine vessel had to reportedly pay a license fee to the 'British authorities to fish for toothfish, a south AItlantic delicacy in Europe and Japan, in the South Atlantic waters recently. Argentina does not recognise the British right to collect licence fees in disputed waters. Said a spokesperson for the foreign office, "We deplore the British attitude, which is not compatible with dialogue and which threatens the continuation of talks about a fishing agreement in Falklands waters".

In defence, British officials say that the existence of a licensing regime has continued since 1993 as part of the Convention of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and was instituted mainly to conserve marine species, and the proceeds go towards conservation. However, Argentina new demands that the South Georgian incident be sorted out and also a South Atlantic fishing policy be framed.

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