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Prized catch - vulnerable toothfish, also referred to as "white gold" by poachers.Prized catch - vulnerable toothfish, also referred to as "white gold" by poachers.On Friday, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture released a statement on the resolution of the procedure against Vidal Armadores. 

Summary of penalties imposed on Vidal Armadores:

  • €17.840.000 total in fines.
  • Disqualification to conduct fishing operations.
  • Banned from public subsidies and other public benefits.

The Ministry has been working with international organizations and other authorities and has collected more than 3,000 documents to prove the illegal business structure of Vidal Armadores. The statement brings to light the strong position of Spain against IUU.

The investigation concludes that the target of the international business structure was to manage and operate four fishing vessels: KUNLUN, SONGHUA, YONGDING AND TIANTAI, all of them involved in IUU in the region managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The statement remarks that the KUNLUN is detained in Senegal, the SONGHUA and the YONGDING are detained in Cape Verde and the TIANTI was sunk in Antarctica in 2014.

Fines:

The resolution finds VIDAL ARMADORES SA, VIARSA ENERGIA SL, VIARSA CARTERA SL, PRIMARY CAPITAL SL, GALLEGA DE, PESCA SOSTENIBLE SL, ALIMENTA DE TUNIDOS SL y ALIMENTA CORPORACIÓN SL and 7 persons, responsible of different infractions related to these illegal ships.

The total amount in fines is €16.750.000, 5 to 23 years of disqualification to conduct fishing operations, and 5 to 26 years banned from public subsidies and other public benefits.

Also, VIDAL ARMADORES SA, PROPEGARVI and PROYECTOS Y DESARROLLOS SOSTENIBLES SL and its workers, had been fined with a total of €1.090.001 for destroying documents and obstruction during the investigation.

For managing and operating an illegal fleet, the following fines are imposed: 

VIARSA ENERGIA €1.200.000
VIDAL ARMADORES €2.100.000
PRIMARY CAPITAL €2.100.000
ALIMENTA CORPORACIÓN €1.300.000
ALIMENTA TUNIDOS €450.000
GALLEGA DE PESCA SOSTENIBLE €100.000
VIARSA CARTERA 850.000
7 PERSONS €8.650.000

TOTAL €16.750.000

This is a procedure from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that doesn’t affect the criminal proceedings in the High Court, which are also currently underway.

 

 Photos from the investigation into Vidal Armadores by Spanish authorities.

Photos from the investigation into Vidal Armadores by Spanish authorities.

 Photos from the investigation into Vidal Armadores by Spanish authorities.

 Photos from the investigation into Vidal Armadores by Spanish authorities.

 Photos from the investigation into Vidal Armadores by Spanish authorities.

All photos courtesy: Interpol / Guardia Civil

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