The Argentine Coast Guard takes fisheries protection very seriously as can be seen in another video captured by the agency during an incident last week.
The video shows an Argentine Coast Guard (Prefectura Naval Argentina) patrol vessel firing at a Chinese fishing vessel caught fishing illegally in Argentine exclusive economic zone waters.
The incident took place on February 22 and involved Prefectura Naval Argentina patrol vessel ‘Mantilla’ (GC 24) and four Chinese-flagged fishing vessels.
According to reports, the fishing vessels tried to ram the patrol vessel after getting caught extracting fish and squid illegally. This prompted Argentine Coast Guard officers to decide to open fire on one of the vessels, the “Jing Yuan 626”, as can be seen in the video.
“You are responsible for the safety of your crew and your ship. It is about to receive direct fire in the bow,” the officer can be heard saying on the radio. “Ok, open fire, a shot to the ship’s bow above the waterline.”
Despite warnings of receiving more direct fire, the Chinese ship refused to stop and managed to escape after the Argentine Coast Guard decided to break off the operation after an almost eight-hour chase.
No one was injured and no Chinese fishermen were arrested during the confrontation.
This is not the first Chinese fishing vessels have been caught fishing illegally in Argentine waters. In 2016, Argentine Coast Guard shot at, and actually sank, a Chinese fishing vessel with 32 crew to prevent it from escaping to international waters.
Earlier this month, Prefectura Naval Argentina released a statement saying it arrested a Spanish ship carrying more than 320 tons of illegal catch.