Britain wants to extend the marine protection zone around South Georgia Island, located near the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
The 386,000-square-mile zone around South Georgia Island is full of penguins and killer whales, as well as walruses and seals. It would be one of the largest marine protection zones in the world.
“Argentina, like the United Kingdom, is a signatory of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources so we would like to think that common interest in conservation will carry more weight than the dispute over sovereignty,” a Whitehall source told The Times of London, which first reported the news.
Argentina claims the territories in the South Atlantic as its own, and Argentine Congressman Ruperto Godoy responded to the news saying, “South Georgia Island is an integral part of our national territory … . The UK must obey international law and return them to Argentina peacefully.”
Argentina intensified the dispute over the islands — which it refers to as the Islas Malvinas — this month by detaining Spanish fishing vessels on suspicion of breaking Argentina's "blockade" around the islands.
The islands are under British rule, but Argentina regards them as stolen territory. Argentina invaded in 1982, but was soundly defeated.