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Greenpeace Launch Damning Attack on Spanish Fishing Industry

Sun 2th Oct 2011

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has launched a damning criticism of the Spanish fishing, claiming widespread abuses of subsidies, illegal activity and wastefulness, and that the Spanish authorities have been complicit in these malpractices.

The group notes how Spain receives more funding than any other under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

One family owned fishing dynasty alone is believed to have received more than 16 million in subsidies between 2002 and 2009, despite being awarded penalties for repeated offences in breach of industry regulations over 3 million.

The report by Greenpeace concludes that the business been prosecuted in the US, Spain, the UK amongst other counties for infringing quotas. Many of the prosecutions did not succeed due to the ships sailing away from the prosecuting nation's jurisdiction. Three ships in particular have been black-listed by many counties.

However, the group accuses the Spanish authorities of repeatedly failing to act on, or enforce EU regulations, and that in the European Court of Auditors reported on problems of compliance and enforcement amongst member states and identified a great number of failings in relation to Spain.

The report notes that "Spain appears to have under-declared its landings by around 40% in 2005 alone, it seems to have systematically failed to monitor quota take-up in the under 10-metre, small-scale sector, failed to cross-check sales notes of all frozen fish and fish products, failed to implement proper reporting and documentation systems whatever the product and appears to have employed far too few inspectors."

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