Ministry denies information released by Greenpeace

Date: April 8, 2017

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment denied the information released by Greenpeace in relation to the joint action carried out with the Fisheries Surveillance Department of Guinea Bissau (FISCAP).

In that operation, seizures of vessels illegally fishing in Guinea-Bissau waters were carried out, and the NGO claims that these vessels, despite bearing the flag of the Union of the Comoros, are based in the port of Las Palmas.

The Secretariat of Fisheries of the Ministry has carried out the appropriate inquiries confirming that these vessels do not have base port in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria but that their port of registry is Moroni, in the Union of the Comoros.

The Ministry clarifies that the vessels mentioned by Greenpeace have occasionally used the port of Las Palmas for refueling, repair and supplies, and have always had access, as required by current regulations, prior authorization, and also verifying that they were in ballast (that is, without on-board fishing products).

Several controls and inspections carried out in 2016 were brought to the notice of the flag authorities and the coastal States concerned.

The Ministry emphasizes that these vessels are not on the list of vessels involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, although it is true that the country has been pre-identified by the European Commission as a non-cooperating third country in the fight against IUU fishing (yellow card). According to the regulations, they can not be banned from entering the Spanish port for getting supplies.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment regrets these types of accusations that, without reason, intend to harm the Spanish control system of fishery products, one of the most rigorous in the world,” said the government agency in a statement.

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