domingo, 19 de abril de 2009

Swedes charged with illegal fishing in Western Sahara

Two Swedish fishermen have been charged with illegal fishing off Western Sahara. Their allegedly illegal catches have been worth 1,9 million euros.

Swedish newspaper Göteborgsposten wrote yesterday that two Swedish fishermen are charged in Sweden with fishing offshore Western Sahara without permission. See full story below (in Swedish).

The two fishermen, 62 and 53 years old, are the owners of the vessels which have done the supposedly illegal catches. They have themselves not been onboard the vessels during the 13 month period that the fishing took place. The fishing itself has been carried out by other Swedish captains, close to the two persons charged.

tn_greenpeacee_509.jpgAccording to state prosecutor James von Reis, the two vessels have been operated without general fishing permissions, as well as operating outside of EU fisheries partnerships. One of the vessels were boarded by Greenpeace activists last year.

The photo to the right shows one of the vessel's workers or owners, trying to make the Greenpeace activists leave the vessel's berth.

The prosecutor claims that the 2 vessels have earned 14 million kroners in 2007 and 6 million Swedish kroners in 2008, in total around 1,9 million euros. These are pure profits, after local licences and salaries have been paid. These figures are said to be proved after Swedish police raided the home of the 53 year old.

The two fishermen charged admits fishing offshore Western Sahara and Morocco, but refuses having done anything wrong, according to Göteborgsposten.

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