Press Release

Spanish Gold: www.fishsubsidy.org Launches in Spanish

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The newly revamped Spanish version of the fishsubsidy.org website, released today by the Pew Environment Group and EU Transparency, shows Spain receives the largest share of EU subsidies for its fishing industry, much of it contributing to the overfishing of threatened fish stocks such as hake and monkfish.

Analysis of the data provided on the website for the period 2000-2006, the latest period in which data is available shows that:

  • Spain received €2.231 billion, or 46 percent of the total for all EU member states;
  • Over €300 million was spent on the construction and modernisation of vessels over 24m in length and €20 million on vessels less than 12m in length;
  • Over €150 million was spent on the modernisation and construction of vessels fishing hake and monkfish, both of which are known to be overfished;
  • Only one quarter of Spanish vessels received EU fisheries subsidies; and
  • In Spain, measures resulting in negative environmental impacts were funded four times more than ones with positive impacts.

“Spain receives the lion's share of EU fisheries subsidies so it's really important that Spanish citizens are able to find out who received what. Our aim is that the Spanish version of the website will increase accountability and make for a better-informed public debate in Spain on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy," said Jack Thurston co-founder of fishsubsidy.org.  "We look forward to working with Spanish  journalists, NGOs and citizens to untangle the large amount of data.”

The website offers improved functionality including innovative tools to enable users to add factual information to the database and compile and publish their own research on who receives what in EU fisheries subsidies.

“Fisheries subsidies have fuelled greater and greater fishing capacity putting ever more pressure on already depleted fish stocks. Without adequate amounts of fish, there will be no fishing sector in the long term,” said Markus Knigge, Pew Environment Group.

“As the largest recipient of EU fisheries subsidies and holder of the EU Presidency, Spain must take its pivotal role in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy seriously. Fisheries subsidies should be used for restoring overfished stocks and the long-term health of the marine environment, not for rewarding companies that contribute to the problem.”

Notes to editors
 
1. Fishsubsidy.org is a project co-ordinated by EU Transparency, a non-profit organisation in the UK, and the Pew Environment Group. The aim is to obtain detailed data relating to payments and recipients of fisheries subsidies in every EU member state and make this data available in a way that is useful to European citizens. Subsidies paid to owners of fishing vessels and others working in the fishing industry under the European Unionís Common Fisheries Policy amount to approximately €1 billion a year. For more information, please visit www.fishsubsidy.org.

2. Detailed analysis of EU fisheries subsidies from 2000-2006 is available in Cappell, R., T. Huntingdon and G. Macfadyen (2010): "FIFG 2000-2006 Shadow Evaluation"

3. A list of vessels in the tuna fleet that receive EU subsidies is available at http://www.fishsubsidy.org/EU/tuna-fleet and a list of vessels convicted of serious infringements (illegal fishing) is available at http://www.fishsubsidy.org/infringements.

4. Fishing for subsidies: Uncovering who gets what from the common fisheries policy in Spain. Report by Nils Mulvad & Jack Thurston, fishsubsidy.org, 29 April 2010 team@fishsubsidy.org Available in English and Spanish.

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Mike Walker

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