Illegal fishing is becoming more and more of a problem as stocks continue to decline. Most cases unfortunately slip by unnoticed by authorities, but this one...This one was big.
A massive scam has been pulled by fishermen in order to cheat the fishing quota restrictions set by the European Union. A £14 million discrepancy between declared landings and total earnings has been found at Shetland Catch Ltd. Yesterday, three more fishermen confessed to illegally landing mackerel and herring at an estimated value of £3 million.
"They hid the true quantity of their catch from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and landed in excess of their agreed quota of mackerel and herring."
"The court was told that the boats did not even have to land their catch at [Lerwick] harbour. A supply pipe took the fish straight from the hold into the Shetland Catch factory."
An investigation into the scam found that in some of the landings, the amount of illegal undeclared fish actually exceeded the amount of declared fish. Illegal fish comprised up to 42% of total landings.
When I think about the amount of fish that is, it just disgusts me. These people have no regards to the environment, sustainable fishing, other fishermen and the population of both fish and people that depend on them. It is truly a sad case.
The prosecuting advocate depute added that as a result of this gross overfishing, the United Kingdom "had effectively exceeded its fish quota for herring and mackerel." In other words, they ruined it for everybody. Thanks, assholes.
If this doesn't get you livid enough, check out this post that shows another side of illegal fishing - dumping of "cheap" species to make room for fish with a higher payout.
I hope karma rips these guys a new one.
Full article here (The Shetland Times)