A 500 tonne cargo of suspected illegally caught fish worth millions of Euros has been seized by Spanish authorities, adding to a 600 tonne catch already being investigated in the port.

A 500 tonne cargo of suspected illegally caught fish worth millions of Euros has been seized by Spanish authorities, adding to a 600 tonne catch already being investigated in the port.

Several refrigerator cargo vessels under the flags of the Republic of Korea, China and Panama are now suspected of carrying catches from fishing vessels operating illegally to be sold on the European market.

The most recent action took place after a UK-based NGO working in Sierre Leone fighting Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU) alerted the European Commission and national authorities.

The nature of the illegal activities which are being investigated include operating in artisanal inshore areas, destroying local gears and conducting their activities without a permit from the coastal state, as well as other reports of violence against small-scale fishermen and dangerous, unhygienic labour conditions for workers aboard these vessels, including child labour.

Since 2010, the EU has had a specific regulation which targets IUU fishing and seeks to prevent, deter and prevent these activities by monitoring all imports of seafood into the European community.

Photograph copyright of the European Justice Foundation

 

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