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.

namibia boat

Video: The New Colonizers: Spain’s Appetite for Hake Threatens Namibia’s Fish

Mar 21, 2012

Graph: What’s happened to hake?

Mar 21, 2012
European Commissioner Maria Damanaki says she is overseeing a "radical" reform of EU fishing laws
European Commissioner responds

Top fisheries official says EU is investigating illegalities by Spanish companies

Mar 15, 2012
Nine organizations of the Spanish fishing industry attacked ICIJ's 'Looting the Seas II' investigation during a press conference in Madrid
Backlash from fishing industry officials

Fishing industry rep calls ICIJ investigation an ‘explosive cocktail that damages the Spaniards’

Mar 15, 2012
Five-step process

Hake DNA testing: How we did it

Mar 15, 2012
Hake Hoax Markets
Nearly one-in-10 mislabeled

Hake hoax in Spanish markets

Mar 15, 2012
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