Oceana satisfied with courts sanctions deterrent enough prevent overfishing in Europe

Press Release Date: July 27, 2012

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: mmadina@oceana.org | tel.: Marta Madina

Yesterday, a United Kingdom court ruled against two Spanish shipowners connected with the notorious pirate shipowners Antonio Vidal Suárez and Antonio Vidal Pego. The court has imposed a fine of 1.62 Million pounds for falsifying documentation on catches of overexploited hake, for which the quota was overshot.

Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe has welcomed the court decision which has finally imposed fines deterrent enough to discourage illegal practices: “From an overall perspective, the infraction committed by Hijos de Vidal Bandin and its subsidiary in the UK is very common in the European Union fleet, where vessels as a general practice overshoot quotas, misreport, underreport or falsify capture declarations without facing any trouble from authorities”.

Pastor, further by concludes: “The effects of this penalty will go well beyond the scope of Vidal family history of IUU fishing and infractions. This fine will have a much needed deterrent effect on one of the major problems facing European fisheries management: the effective enforcement of measures designed to prevent overfishing. This is a welcome step, especially given the timing of the Common Fisheries Policy reform.”

Oceana has denounced several times the illegal fishing activities of Antonio Vidal Pego across the world, as well as the institutional support received by this family, including substantial amounts of subsidies paid by EU taxpayers, amounting to more than 9 million Euros.

Oceana analysis on the subsidies received by  Antonio Vidal Suárez and his son, Antonio Vidal Pego