Greenpeace demands action on illegal Spanish fishing

2nd October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Greenpeace called Sunday on the Netherlands to ratchet up pressure on the European Commission to address illegal fishing by the Spanish commercial fleet, the largest on the continent.

Greenpeace "called on the Netherlands to tackle this practice by pushing hard for reforms within European fishing policy," its oceans campaign leader Tom Grijsen told AFP.

Reforms included cutting subsidies, funded by European taxpayers, to Spanish fleet owners caught in illegal fishing activities. The money should instead be used to fight illegal fishing and develop sustainable practices, Grijsen said.

He said Greenpeace's call comes as European ministers discuss once-a-decade amendments in the continent's commercial fishing policy in Brussels this year.

Greenpeace on Sunday released a 19-page report entitled "Ocean Inquirer" in which it looks at the state of European commercial fishing and names companies and individuals allegedly involved in illegal activities.

The Spanish fleet, said the report, was by far the largest in Europe with a catch amounting to 24.2 percent of the EU's total haul. It will have received more than 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion dollars) in subsidies between 2007 to 2013, the report said.

© 2011 AFP

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