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30. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 134/41

8. In accordance with its answer to question 1, the Commission has no indication of apparent water quality
differences between the beaches of San Agustı́n, Bahı́a Feliz, Playa del Inglés, Playa Maspalomas or the other
beaches located in the community of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. As mentioned above, there is no indication that
untreated sewage water is discharged into the sea.

(1) OJ L 31, 5.2.1976.

(2) OJ L 135, 30.5.1991.

(98/C 134/48) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2946/97

by Johanna Maij-Weggen (PPE) to the Commission
(17 September 1997)

Subject: Fishing by European vessels off the coast of Argentina/Patagonia

Has the EU concluded any agreement with Argentina on fishing rights off the coast of Argentina/Patagonia, or
does the Commission intend to conclude such an agreement? If so, when?

Is the Commission aware that there are complaints in Argentina/Patagonia that fishermen from Spain are
overfishing the waters off the coast of Patagonia?

Is the Commission aware that, as a result, certain marine mammals (including the rare baleen whale) and seabirds
(including penguins) are having increasing difficulty in finding food, and, partly because of this, that growing
numbers of them are being washed up on the coast in a weak condition?

Will the Commission investigate, in consultation with the Government of Argentina, how fishing can be adjusted
so as to guarantee the survival of marine mammals and seabirds in this region, and will the Commission, jointly
with the Government of Argentina, support a regional centre for the care of marine mammals and seabirds, from
which the ecosystem off the coast of Patagonia can also be monitored?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(28 November 1997)

The Community concluded a fisheries agreement with Argentina in 1993 (1). This entered into force in May 1994
for a period of five years.

The fishing effort in Argentinian fishing waters, to judge by the level of catches of the main species, hake, has
increased considerably over the last year.

The Commission is not aware of any specific accusations made against Spanish fishermen operating in
Argentinian waters and would furthermore point out that their activities under the agreement are carried out in
the context of joint entreprises with Argentinian partners and furthermore, are subject to specific quotas, unlike
other fishing operators in these waters.

With regard to the situation of marine mammals and seabirds, the Commission is not aware of the facts reported
by the Honourable Member. However, if the Honourable Member would transmit scientific information with
regard to the threats to the species mentioned and concerning their state of conservation in the area concerned,
the Commission will examine the situation.

The Commission is ready at all times to consider support for actions concerning the conservation of resources
and the marine environment of the coasts of Patagonia. However, this can only be envisaged when the
Argentinian government prepares a proposal for which it seeks international support.

(1) Council Regulation (EEC) No 3447/93 of 28 September 1993 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Economic
Community and the Argentine Republic on relations in the sea fisheries sector − OJ L 318, 20.12.1993.