An ICIJ Investigation
Spain’s $8 Billion Fish
Spain’s fishing industry racked up an extensive history of flouting rules and breaking laws.
- 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.