Mr Dominguez explained that the change in the attitude of the Spanish government in the fight against illegal fishing, started since the arrival of the current management team of the Secretariat General for Fisheries, in February 2012.
"Faced with a previous attitude of excessive caution, the General Secretariat has taken a proactive approach and an enhanced control over the Spanish fleet and fish imports into Spain," stressed the Secretary General.
Thus, by checking fishing licenses of operators, Spain has improved such controls. Furthermore, the General Secretariat has promoted a legislative change to the Sea Fisheries Act.
Mr Domínguez has proposed a roadmap for strengthening the European mechanisms to combat illegal fishing, based on the following principles:
- proof of the legality of the catch is made to the exporter
- Black lists of vessels or countries not meeting standards of the ORP and white lists for those which do.
- Deny authorization to export to the EU to countries that protect illegal fleets
- Open the process of identifying non-cooperative countries in illegal fishing to Member States, operators and NGOs to improve their procedures.