US embassy cable - 66BUENOSAIRES2481

EXTENDED NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS OVER HIGH SEAS

Identifier: 66BUENOSAIRES2481
Wikileaks: View 66BUENOSAIRES2481 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Buenos Aires
Created: 1966-12-28 18:48:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: EFIS PBTS AR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P R 281848Z DEC 66
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO USCINCSO
CINCLANT
AMEMBASSY RIO DE JANEIRO
AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY MEXICO
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
STATE GRNC
UNCLASSIFIED BUENOS AIRES 2481 
 
Original Telegram was Confidential but has since been 
de-classified 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
Copy from the National Archives 
RG 59: General Records of the Department of state 
1964-66 Central Foreign Policy File 
File: POL 33-4 ARG 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: DECLASSIFIED BY NARA 09/02/2009 
TAGS: EFIS, PBTS, AR 
SUBJECT:  EXTENDED NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS OVER HIGH SEAS 
 
REF: STATE 106206 CIRCULAR; STATE CA-3400 NOV 2, 1966 
 
 
1.  PRESS REPORTS AND VARIETY EMBASSY SOURCES CONFIRM 
NEW ARGENTINE LEGISLATION UNILATERALLY CHANGING SEAS JURIS- 
DICTION NOW UNDER ADVANCED REVIEW.  REPORTEDLY LAW WOULD 
ESTABLISH SIX MILE TERRITORIAL SEA, PLUS ANOTHER SIX MILES 
OF EXCLUSIVE FISHING JURISDICTION, PLUS ANOTHER EXTENDED ZONE 
OF "PREFERENTIAL JURISDICTION" FOR FISHING PURPOSES.  DRAFT- 
LAW UNDER CONSIDERATION IN ARGENTINE SENATE BEFORE JUNE 28 
COUP WOULD HAVE DEFINED ZONE OF PREFERENTIAL JURISDICTION 
AS "EPICONTINENTAL SEA OUT TO 200 METER ISOBAR".  IN SOUTHERN 
ARGENTINA THIS ZONE SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES WIDE AND BLANKETS 
FALKLAND ISLANDS. 
 
2.  NAVATT STATES ARGENTINE NAVY THINKING OF PREFERENTIAL 
JURISDICTION OUT TO 200 MILES (AS IN PERU, ECUADOR, CHILE) 
RATHER THAN EPICONTINENTAL SEA.  200 MILE LIMIT DOES NOT 
RPT NOT REACH FALKLANDS.  ARGENTINE NAVY OFF TOLD NAVATT 
"200 MILE LIMIT SOON WILL BE STANDARD THROUGH HEMISPHERE". 
 
3.  FONOFF OFFICIALS REFERRING TO RECENT BRAZILIAN AND US 
LEGISLATION HAVE INFORMALLY INDICATED DECISION ALREADY 
FINAL RE SIX MILE TERRITORIAL SEA PLUS SIX MILE EXCLUSIVE 
FISHING JURISDICTION, BUT THAT "PREFERENTIAL JURISDICTION" 
STILL UNDER STUDY.  TWO FONOFF MEN VOLUNTARILY AND INFORMALLY 
SOUGHT EMBASSY REACTION TO POSSIBLE EXTENDED PREFERENTIAL 
JURISDICTION BY SUGGESTING THAT US IN FACT HAS ACCEPTED 
UNILATERALLY CREATED ECUADORIAN, PERUVIAN AND CHILEAN 200 MILE 
LIMITS.  EMBOFF REJECTED IDEA US ACCEPTS THESE LIMITS IN ANY 
WAY AND POINTED OUT 1965 AMENDMENTS TO AID LEGISLATION AIMED 
AT FURTHER PROTECTING US FISHING RIGHTS. 
 
4.  FONOFF LEGAL ADVISOR CONCEDES DISTINCTION BETWEEN 
"EXCLUSIVE" AND "PREFERENTIAL" FISHING JURISDICTION A SEMANTIC 
NICETY.  HE UNDERSTANDS THAT IN ZONE OF "PREFERENTIAL" JURIS- 
DICTION ARGENTINA WOULD CLAIM RIGHT TO TAX, LICENSE AND OTHER- 
WISE CONTROL ALL ACTIVITIES RELATED TO EXPLOITATION OF 
RESOURCES OF SEA. 
 
5.  DRAFT LEGISLATION ON SEAS JURISDICTION LAY DORMANT UNTIL 
SUDDEN AND SUBSTANTIAL IN FISHIN ARGENTINE EPICONTINENTAL SEAS 
BY CUBAN AND EAST EUROPEAN (ESPECIALLY SOVIET) VESSELS PAST 
SIX MONTHS ALARMED ARGENTINE ARMED FORCES.  (SEE NAVATT IR 
5-804-0-140-66 OF NOV 18) NOT RPT NOT ALL SOVIET VESSELS WERE 
FISHING OR FACTORY TYPES.  FONOFF SOURCES INFORMALLY STATE 
ARMED FORCES PRESSURE MAKES EMISSION NEW LAW IMPERATIVE, QUITE 
POSSIBLY APPEARING WITHIN NEXT FEW WEEKS.  WHEN ASKED BY FONOFF 
MEN ABOUT "SECURITY PROBLEMS CREATED BY SOVIET TRAWLERS OFF US 
COAST", EMBASSY OFF REPLIED US DID NOT RPT NOT SEE THAT 
UNILATERAL ATTEMPT TO EXTEND SEAS JURISDICTION OFFERED ANY 
REALISTIC SOLUTION FOR POSSIBLE SECURITY PROBLEMS, WHILE SUCH 
ACTION COULD CREATE NEW SOURCES POSSIBLE MISUNDERSTANDING AND 
CONFLICT. 
 
6.  RE PAR 3 STATE 106206 BELIEVE OUTLINED PROPOSAL MIGHT 
FORESTALL UNILATERAL ARGENTINE ATTEMPT TO SUBSTANTIALLY EXTEND 
"PREFERENTIAL" FISHING JURISDICTION ONLY IF EMBASSY CAN BE 
AUTHORIZED DISCUSS IDEA WITH ARGENTINES IMMEDIATELY. EVEN THEN 
CHANCES SUCCESS LIMITED BY (A) ADVANCED STAGE PROPOSED ARGENTINE 
LAW AND (B) PRIMACY SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS ARGENTINE THINKING. 
WE WOULD BENEFIT SOME FROM FONOFF LEGAL ADVISORS' QUALMS ABOUT 
UNILATERAL ACTION, AND FROM RESTRAINT OF RECENT BRAZILIAN 
LEGISLATION WHICH DID NOT RPT NOT GO BEYOND 12-MILE LIMIT. 
 
7.  FOR DISCUSSION WITH ARGENTINES WOULD MODIFY TEXT IN STATE 
10942 CIRCULAR TO:  (A) MAKE ALL REFERENCES TO ARGENTINA, VICE 
CANADA; (B) REFER TO PROPOSED ARGENTINE CLAIMS OF PREFERENTIAL 
JURISDICTION OVER WATERS WE REGARD AS HIGH SEAS; (C) ELIMINATE 
REFERENCES TO "TRADITIONAL DISTANT WATER FISHERIES", SINCE 
ARGENTINE COAST NOT RPT NOT TRADITIONAL FISHING ZONE (WHEREAS 
NO. 3);  (D) ADD NOTATION THERE NO TRADITIONAL FISHING AND 
CONFINE OPERATIVE AGREEMENT TO PROVISIONS FOR NON-TRADITIONAL 
FISHING; (E) ELIMINATE LAST THREE PARS OF AIDE-MEMOIRE HANDED 
TO CANADIAN AMB. 
 
8.  IF AUTHORIZED, ENVISAGE TWO-STEP APPROACH TO FONOFF. 
FIRST, INFORMAL AND ORAL, STRESSING OUR INTEREST IN FREEDOM OF 
HIGH SEAS, NOTING EARLIER FONOFF CONFIRMATION NEW LAW UNDER 
STUDY, OUTLINING OUR PROPOSAL IN GENERAL TERMS.  ON BASIS 
FONOFF REACTION, WE WOULD THEN COUCH AIDE-MEMOIRE IN TERMS 
WHICH WOULD APPEAR MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED. 
 
GP-3 
SACCIO 

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