Greenpeace exposes Vidal Armadores
Spanish ship owner Vidal Armadores is in hot water as Greenpeace on Friday published the names of individuals directly involved in illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, including Vidal Armadores vessels in the Southern Ocean.
Greenpeace has also published a letter from the European Commission to Juan Carlos Martín Fragueiro, Spain's secretary general of maritime fishing, condemning Madrid's lack of action against Spanish vessels involved in IUU fishing.
The EC "cannot be internationally undermined by the suspicion that an EC fishing company has confirmed relations with IUU vessels, as well as direct or indirect interests in IUU activities. This situation is worsened by the fact that this is not the first situation allegedly involving the Spanish fishing company Vidal Armadores," the letter said.
The commission said it will "take any legal action to ensure the implementation and respect of the EC law."
On 5 March, SeafoodSource reported that Greenpeace called on the Spanish government to remove subsidies from Vidal, prosecute any Spanish nationals who were captains or masters of the ships and revoke the organization's licenses.
Greenpeace again petitioned the government on 16 March demanding it furnish documents and correspondence relating to Vidal.
"Finally we will see everything," said Greenpeace spokesperson Marta San Román, who anticipates the release of more official documents.
The names of nine captains, ship masters and first and second officers - and all Spanish nationals onboard Vidal ships Belma, Galaecia, Paloma V between April 2007 and May 2008 - have now been released.
Vidal Armadores operates a fleet of five vessels in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, at least three of which have been blacklisted by the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which manages fishing activities in the region.