Posted by: Bob Payne | October 7, 2011

Spanish overfishing funded by EU subsidies

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found that billions of euros in subsidies built up Spain’s bloated fleet and propped up a money-losing industry. All the while companies systematically flouted the rules while officials overlooked fraud and continued to fund offenders. Ernesto Penas Lado, director of policy and enforcement at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said that “Spain has earned its bad reputation.” The Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion (more than $8 billion) in subsidies since 2000 for everything from building new vessels and breaking down old ships to payments for retiring fishermen and training for the next generation, an unprecedented analysis by ICIJ shows. Subsidies account for almost a third of the value of the industry. Simply put, nearly one in three fish caught on a Spanish hook or raised in a Spanish farm is paid for with public money.

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