6 Millarden Subvention für die Spanischen Fischer – das muss ein Ende haben

Ein neuer Report vedeutlicht die Subvention ders spanischen Überfischung:

Nearly €6 billion in subsidies float Spain’s ravenous fishing fleet

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2011 —The Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion in subsidies since 2000 to expand its capacity and global reach.


That public fortune supports a fleet with an extensive record of flouting rules – and breaking the law – according to a new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

While European Union officials scramble in a last-ditch effort to save what are left of declining fish stocks, a look at the Spanish fleet – the region’s most powerful player – shows what they are up against.

“Fish are not an unlimited resource,” said fisheries economist Andrew Dyck of University of British Columbia. “When the public purse is the only thing propping this industry up, we are paying for resource degradation.”

ICIJ’s analysis is the first in-depth look at how much public aid Spain has received, primarily from the EU, but also from the national and regional governments.

Subsidies keep the Spanish industry afloat. They account for a third of the sector’s value. Simply put, nearly one-in-three fish caught on a hook or raised in a farm is paid for with public money.

Among the findings:

One Spanish ship owner received more than €8.2 million in subsidies while his company or its affiliates faced more than 40 accusations of alleged illegal fishing and US$5 million in fines.

The Spanish fishing industry cornered a third of all subsidies granted to EU fisheries since 2000 – far more than that of any other EU country. Public aid has been used to modernize ships, buy fishing rights to the waters of developing countries, and even pay for private security aboard vessels and for advertising and promotion.

Tax breaks account for a big chunk of aid. The Spanish industry has benefited from €2 billion in fuel tax exemptions since 2000.

More than 80 percent of subsidized fishing companies that were fined in Spain for infractions such as fishing in a prohibited area and targeting juvenile fish– and then lost subsequent court appeals – continued to receive subsidies.

The probe into the Spanish fishing industry is the latest installment of Looting the Seas, an ongoing investigation into the forces that are rapidly depleting ocean resources. Two more stories in the series will publish this week:

(October 4) A look at how the Spanish fishing industry is putting Namibia’s most valuable fishery at risk.
(October 6) An exposé of fraud at major fish markets in Madrid.

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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is a global network of reporters who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories. Founded in 1997, ICIJ was launched as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend the Center’s style of watchdog journalism, focusing on issues that do not stop at national frontiers. With more than 100 members in 50 countries, ICIJ is dedicated to investigating cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power. Backed by the Center and its computer-assisted reporting specialists, public records experts, fact-checkers and lawyers, ICIJ reporters and editors provide real-time resources and state-of-the-art tools and techniques to journalists around the world.

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent digital news organization specializing in original investigative journalism on significant public policy issues. Since 1990, the Washington, D.C.-based Center has released more than 475 investigative reports and 17 books to provide greater transparency and accountability of government and other institutions. It has received the George Polk Award and more than 50 other major journalism awards, including honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors, Online News Association, Overseas Press Club, Society of Environmental Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists.