Spain tackles IUU fishing head on


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
February 7, 2010

 Spanish Secretary General of the Sea Juan Carlos Martín Fragueiro on Friday in Vigo, Spain, urged all European Union countries to enforce the EU's new catch-certificate law with the upmost vigor and determination. The law is designed to clamp down on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Describing Spain as a driving force against IUU fishing since the law went into effect on 1 January, Fragueiro reemphasized the country's obligation to import stocks from sustainable sources, with the Spanish government pushing to formulate policies for international fishing grounds that combine social, economic and biological sustainability.

He explained that "almost in totality" third-party country importers of fresh fish have presented catch certificates corresponding to the number of operating ships permitted, and that the verification by fishing ground administrators in originating countries is more effective with IUU fishing controls in place.

Frozen fish and byproducts from third-party countries will undergo meticulous controls before authorization is granted due to the many suppliers involved — harvested in one country, processed in another and then fragmented into lots.

Fragueiro stressed his efforts to shorten processing times for unloading, importing and re-exporting products to ensure that the new IUU fishing measures are applied with firmness to every company operating in Spanish territory.

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