OPV 80 – Créditos Armada de Chile
Zona Militar: “The last foreign fishing boats leave Chilean waters for the South Atlantic“
January 22, 2021
On January 21, the Chilean Navy confirmed that the last foreign fishing boats left the Exclusive Economic Zone heading for the Strait of Magellan. Since the end of last year, the squid fishing fleets have crossed the territorial waters of Ecuador, Peru and Chile to continue their course, with the South Atlantic as its destination.
The Chilean Navy, between the months of December 2020 and January 2021, detected a total of 233 vessels that made the crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic, crossing the Strait of Magellan. For their part, another 14 went to Cape Horn.
The activities carried out by the fishing fleets are monitored by the Maritime Authority of Punta Arenas, which establishes safety guidelines for navigation in the area. The crossing of the vessels must be done in the “convoy” mode.
Since mid-2020, the vessels were engaged in fishing for Red Squid, whose exploitation area is located on the limits of the EEZ of Ecuador (near the Galapagos Islands) and Peru. These fleets increased in number with the arrival of a large number of fishing boats, of the “jigger / liner” type, originating from China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Faced with this situation, the Chilean Navy strengthened surveillance and controls over its EEZ through the General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DIRECTEMAR). Among the listed means available for use are Maritime Zone Patrols (OPV-80) and C-295 Persuader patrol aircraft, also deployed to carry out search and rescue tasks on the high seas (SAR).