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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

EU subsidizes illegal fishing published a list of 42 convictions of fishing vessel owners that have also received EU subsidies under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The study, which focuses on two major EU fishing nations, Spain and France, involves matching records of court convictions with data on EU fisheries subsidy payments. Between them, the 36 law-breaking vessels received 13,510,418 euro in EU subsidies between 1994 and 2006.  Illegal fishing contributes to the overfishing of valuable fish stocks, many of which are at dangerously depleted levels. While previous studies have shown that many EU fisheries subsidies have directly contributed to the overfishing of fish stocks, this is the first study that draws the link between subsidies and illegal fishing. While there is no obligation to take criminal behaviour into account when deciding which vessels should get subsidies, EU Member States are free to consider this information. There is little evidence that any of them are.