The fishing industry of Archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia is ‘in suspense’ before the ruling that the International Court of Justice ruled this Thursday on the demand that Nicaragua made to Colombia on the highlighted decision of 2012.
Of course, the concrete effects of this decision will not be immediate and will begin to be felt on June 30 when the National Government issues the respective decree on the measure.
“Right now we are on candle, until June 30. According to that, what is going to be established according to the decree that is going to be implemented, perhaps it will give us an index to take into account what is going to happen according to this ruling that was applied today (yesterday) in hours. am”, Randy Manuel Henry, Secretary of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Government of the Archipelago, told Portfolio.
“According to this, the indications that we have to follow in fishing will be followed,” added the island official.
Currently, according to the figures of this administrative division in the archipelago, there are seven industrial companies dedicated to the sector and approximately 900 artisanal fishermendivided between 600 located in San Andrés and another 300 in Providencia.
Since 2012, the year in which the first ruling of the international legal body dates, industrial fishing has been “completely” reduced, according to the story of Randy Manuel Henry.
“Many fishing boats and traders have closed. At the moment we only have 11 boats, but from 2012 to now things have totally changed. It is already a more artisanal, more traditional fishing. That is what you are exercising right now. At some point, this is what has been requested to maintain food safety in our department”, added the official.
This uncertainty, says the secretary, coincides with the closed season (capture prohibition) for the spiny lobster, a species of great commercial value.
According to the Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina (Coralina), the artisanal fishery destined for San Andrés is developed in areas near the island such as Outside Bank or Southend Bank.
“Artisanal fishing, as it has been happening, is fundamental because there are protection zones, there are zones where recovery is needed and then, all of this would go into all of this part to improve the quality of life of our inhabitants, of our community in the department. (…) Other strategies would be advanced seeking to rehabilitate marine products to increase their productivity”, said Randy Manuel Henry.
The UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled this Thursday that Colombia violated sovereign rights in the waters of the Caribbean Sea that that court recognizes as belonging to Nicaragua and urged the country to “immediately cease” this behavioraccording to the AFP agency.
The Hague Court ruled that Colombia “has violated Nicaragua’s sovereign and jurisdictional rights,” that “this conduct must immediately cease.”
This controversy between the two countries has its origin in a 2012 ruling by the ICJ itself, which recognized the sovereignty of Colombia in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, in the Caribbean, while recognizing the jurisdiction of Nicaragua in the surrounding waters, reminds AFP.
“This is a bittersweet ruling. Contrary to the official version we did not win. Generally speaking, we lose”, said Enrique Prieto, professor of International Law at the Universidad del Rosario.
ROBERTO CASAS LUGO