Greenpeace exposes Spain’s ocean destruction

Activists climb iconic Spanish tower urging EU to save our oceans

Press release - 3 May, 2010
A Coruna, Spain, 3 May 2010 – Spain’s fleet is now plundering waters as far away as Antarctica and Africa using European taxpayers’ money, according to a new Greenpeace report published today. The day before fisheries ministers gather in one of Spain’s main fishing hubs to discuss EU fisheries policy reform, Greenpeace activists hung banners at the Tower of Hercules in A Coruna urging ministers to “EU: Save Our Oceans.”

Greenpeace oceans campaigner Farah Obaidullah said: “If Europe wants fish tomorrow, Spain must stop overfishing today. Ministers gathering here should immediately take steps to reverse Spain’s ocean destruction at this critical time.”

Tomorrow’s meeting in Vigo is the first step in reforming the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the instrument used to manage EU fishing fleets. The EC has already called for a reduction in fishing capacity. Greenpeace calls for the reformed CFP to include substantial fleet reduction targets, expansion of protected marine reserves and a focus on science and transparency.

Greenpeace’s report, España: The destructive Practices of Spain's Fishing Armada, highlights fisheries mismanagement naming some of the worst Spanish companies and charts a course for policymakers towards sustainable fisheries management.

Spain’s fleet has grown into a voracious armada representing nearly a quarter of the entire EU fishing capacity. Spain has a fleet twice the UK’s and three times Italy’s, the next biggest fishing nations. Spain’s largest fishing ships can haul in 3,000 tonnes of tuna per trip, double the annual catch of some Pacific nations. Despite a collapse of European fish stocks and decades of promises to reduce capacity, Spain’s industrial fishing has actually grown, fuelled by EU subsidies and short-sighted Spanish policies.
España: The destructive Practices of Spain's Fishing Armada is available at



Farah Obaidullah - Greenpeace International oceans campaigner

+31 64 617 7538 (mobile)

Saskia Richartz - EU Oceans Policy Director

+32 49 529 0028 (mobile)

Steve Smith – Greenpeace International  Communications

+31 64 378 7359 (mobile)

For photos, contact John Novis, Greenpeace International Pictures Desk, +44 7801 615889