OPEN LETTER

To: The Governments of Argentina, Ecuador and other Latin American States
From: Global Citizens in support of the people of Argentina and Ecuador
Subject: Urgent call for action to protect our natural resources

* Aware that foreign distant water fishing fleets are operating at the borders of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of Latin American countries,

* With the knowledge that the number of fish being taken using industrial fishing techniques 24/7 is depleting the ecosystems that rely on these fish stocks,

* Conscious that these ships also have operated within the EEZs in contravention of national sovereignty,

* Concerned that these actions damage and disrupt the ecosystems of these coastal nations and thereby contribute to the economic losses of their fishing fleets,

1. Calls on the governments of the coastal states to take urgent action to protect the integrity of the marine ecosystems within their Exclusive Economic Zones;

2. Urges these governments to engage the sponsor nations of the distant water fleets to:

* Respect national sovereignty and prohibit their fleets from encroaching on their EEZs;

* Limit the operations of their fleets so as to minimize the damage to the contiguous marine ecosystems of the EEZs;

* Collaborate on how best to manage these resources that know no national boundaries; cease fuel and other subsidies so that distant water fishing fleets bear the full cost of operations;

* Support the creation of sustainable species specific limits to fishing both within specific geographic boundaries and generally.

We, the undersigned, call on the governments of the Coastal States of Latin America to take the measures requested above.