Posted on March 07, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Argentine forces opened fire on a Chinese fishing trawler that was caught fishing within Argentina’s exclusive economic zone.
In the morning of March 3rd, the Argentine Naval Prefecture (PNA) vessel, Mantilla that had been patrolling the area, spotted the Chinese fishing trawler Hua Xiang 801 inside the Argentine EEZ.
The fishing trawler had its gear deployed, and when approached by the Argentine vessel, it attempted to escape.
The Mantilla gave pursuit, and reportedly, the Hua Xiang attempted to collide with the vessel, perhaps in an attempt to get them to back off.
The PNA vessel ordered the trawler to stop for boarding, with broadcasts in both Spanish and English, but the fishing trawler refused to comply, even after the Argentine vessel fired warning shots with her autocannon ahead of the bow and above the waterline.
The Mantilla proceeded to chase the trawler for the next 3 hours before the fishing vessel managed to escape into international waters.
Argentina has asked other nations to help pursue the vessel.
“The vessel was conducting illegal fishing. It evaded the maritime authority and [we have issued] an international arrest warrant. There is a history of this, and the vessels that escaped were captured and fined 7.5 million pesos,” said Carlos Villareal, chief of marine traffic services for PNA.
Should the vessel be apprehended, they could face serious consequences.
Not only were they caught fishing illegally, but they also endangered the lives of the Argentine vessel by attempting to ram it.