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During the course of the action, the master of the vessel, was accused and the facts were communicated to the Judicial Court of Peniche

Spanish fishing vessel is arrested for illegal fishing of a protected shark species.

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Friday, January 06, 2023, 10:00 (GMT + 9)

On December 22, the Portuguese Coastal Control Unit detained a Spanish-flagged fishing vessel in the Port of Peniche, for not having the necessary legal permits to capture a species of shark protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
 
Satellite image positioning of 'Playa de Ril' according to Global Fishing Watch. Photo: Milko Schvartzman
 
They seized 12,200 kg of mako shark, also called shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), illegally caught in the South Atlantic.
 
Although the Portuguese authorities have not revealed the name of the vessel due to judicial secrecy, satellite records and available images indicate that it would be the longliner Playa de Ril, 32 meters long.
 
Playa de Ril in the port of Montevideo (Uruguay). Image: Fernando Pontolillo/barcosmon
 
The Playa de Ril is part of a fleet of Spanish longliners operating in the South Atlantic, catching tuna and shark species off the Exclusive Economic Zone of Uruguay and Brazil, whose home port in the South Atlantic is Montevideo.
 
According to official records, the Playa de Ril has benefited from fishing subsidies from the European Union, as well as a large part of the Spanish Undeclared and Unregulated fishing fleet that operates in the South Atlantic.
 
Playa de Ril unloading in the port of Montevideo. Photo: Milko Schvartzman archive
 
In 2018, the Spanish trawler Playa Pesmar Uno was caught in the South Atlantic for illegal fishing within the Argentine EEZ. According to the official records of the inspection carried out in the Port of Montevideo by the authorities of the National Directorate of Aquatic Resources (DINARA), the vessel did not declare the cargo of toothfish it was carrying in its hold, nor did it have a fishing permit. for the capture of said species regulated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
 
The Playa de Pesmar Uno had already been penalized previously for falsifying catches.
 
Playa de Ril unloading in the port of Montevideo. Photo: Milko Schvartzman archive
 
Shark finning
 
The Playa de Ril was denounced in 2017, after being filmed unloading shark fins separated from the body in the Port of Montevideo, in violation of the European Union regulations on the mandatory unloading of fins attached to the body.
 
According to studies that use artificial intelligence data, the Spanish fishing fleet, along with the Chinese, are the ones that operate most stealthily in the South Atlantic, turning off their Automatic Identification System (AIS), so as not to be detected. This system was created to avoid collisions on the high seas, however it is usually deactivated prior to carrying out illegal fishing, which implies suspicious behavior.


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