Argentina: Concerns Mount Over Offshore Marine Life

    Argentina: Concerns Mount Over Offshore Marine Life
    Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Politicians and environmentalists from the Falkland Islands have recently raised concerns over resource exploitation in the rich and biodiverse disputed ocean waters known as the "Blue Hole" just off the coast of Argentina.

    • The boundary that stretches 200 miles (321 km) from shore designating Argentina's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) bisects the Blue Hole. The eastern side lies in international waters and is unregulated; Argentine and foreign vessels harvest this area for its rich marine life.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    In March 2023, the UN was successful in getting nearly 200 countries to agree to and sign a global "High Seas Treaty." The treaty is meant to provide legal tools to enforce laws and regulations applied to marine fisheries and protected areas against mining, overfishing, and other activities that could deplete the rich biodiversity of the oceans. This is a huge win in preserving oceans and protecting marine life and must be enforced in areas like offshore Argentina.

    Narrative B

    Despite the signing of the High Seas Treaty, it's very unlikely that such a robust regulation mechanism will be ratified. The treaty must be ratified by 60 countries before implementation can occur. Countries like Russia stand in the way of ratification because, while not blocking the signing, Moscow has clearly stated that it finds the treaty to be "unacceptable." Without major nations signing on, there's little hope that others will follow suit, and areas like the Blue Hole will be in peril.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 53% chance that the Billion Oyster Project restore will 1 billion oysters to New York Harbor before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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