An ICIJ Investigation Spain’s $8 Billion Fish

€6 billion in subsidies fuel Spain’s ravenous fleet

Decades of overfishing leaves Europe’s fish stocks in peril and its fishermen in poverty: an impasse paid for by EU taxpayers.

In this investigation

Spain’s $8 Billion Fish
eBook: Looting the Seas
Spain’s $8 Billion Fish
Graphic: Guess what’s left of European fish?

Key findings

  • The Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion (more than $8 billion) in subsidies from the EU and Spain since 2000 – far more than the industry of any other EU country.
  • Subsidies account for a third of the sector’s value. Simply put, nearly one-in-three fish caught on a hook or raised in a farm is paid for with public money.
  • The subsidized Spanish fleet has cultivated an extensive record of flouting the rules while officials overlook fraud and continue to dole out aid to vessels that break the law.
  • More than 80 percent of subsidized fishing companies that were fined in Spain for fishing infractions – and then lost subsequent court appeals – continued to receive subsidies.
  • One Spanish shipowner received more than €8.2 million in subsidies even while his company or its affiliates faced more than 40 accusations of illegal fishing and US$5 million in fines.

About this investigation

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Key Findings

The Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion (more than $8 billion) in subsidies from the EU and Spain since 2000 –…

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Spain’s $8 Billion Fish

About This Project: Looting the Seas II

Looting the Seas is a two-year project by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists looking at the forces that are rapidly depleting…

As stocks crash, 1 in 3 fish paid for with public money

€6 billion in subsidies fuel Spain’s ravenous fleet

OVERVIEW: Decades of overfishing leaves Europe’s fish stocks in peril and its fishermen in poverty: an impasse paid for by EU taxpayers.

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