tourism fishing wool fuel falklands economy
Last Updated : GMT 12:06:06
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Tourism, fishing, wool fuel Falklands economy

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Arab Today, arab today Tourism, fishing, wool fuel Falklands economy

Stanley - AFP

Historically, the Falkland islands lived off sheep and whaling, but 30 years after Argentina and Britain went to war over the disputed islands, tourism, fishing and wool are the economic mainstays. -- The fishing industry began to be regulated officially in 1987 and now generates income of about $30 million a year for the local government, official data shows. That makes it possible for the some 3,000 islanders -- a census is scheduled for April 15 -- to live a fairly comfortable life in global terms with a per capital income of about $35,000 based on 2002 estimated data. The Falklands\' local government grants fishing licenses of up to 25 years to local businesses that want to operate in territorial waters. These businesses can join forces with European or other international companies. Squid varieties are the main local catch. The Spanish captain of a ship from Spain visited by AFP outside the local port said that \"after a very good January, we are having a bad year.\" The catch is moved off the trawlers to cargo ships either in Stanley or the port of Montevideo, Uruguay. -- The wool industry is built on more than 500,000 sheep, according to the local government, which are raised on the archipelago\'s two largest islands. The wool is shipped all the way to New Zealand for washing and processing and then returned to the Falklands before being shipped to Britain. The harsh climate and poor pasture mean it takes two hectares to raise a single sheep here, while in Britain five sheep can be raised on 0.4 hectare. A refrigerated ship has been transporting the meat of some 30,000 sheep to Britain since 2002. -- Although isolated, tourism is very significant for the Falklands where large cruise ships dock in local spring and summer months. Stanley is dotted with souvenir shops for the thousands of cruise ship passengers that can trudge through the tiny town in a day. The record for a single day is 4,000, more than double the town\'s population. An estimated 50,000 people spill off the cruise ships every year, according to the local tourism office which says they spend about $4.8 million a year. Another 2,800 people a year visit the islands from Chile where LAN flights connect the islands with the outside world, also swelling the coffers for local hotels and restaurants.

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