Good catch in joint actions targeting illegal fishing

26 July 2021
News Article
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Environmental Crime

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More than 11 tonnes of fish, molluscs and crustaceans were seized during the operation

The Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana led an EMPACT Joint Action Day targeting illegal fishing. The action day, co-led by the Spanish Guardia Civil and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA)and supported by Europol, Eurojustand Frontex, involved authorities from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden. Law enforcement and fisheries control agencies took part in the actions. 

Means mobilised:

  • 3 162 inspectors (from police, fisheries, customs, agriculture and health agencies);
  • 260 vehicles;
  • 189 vessels;
  • 18 aerial assets;
  • 2 explosives detection dogs;

Overall results:

  • 2 248 persons, 12 vehicles and 194 vessels checked;
  • 64 crimes detected;
  • 185 administrative infringements;
  • 8 arrests;
  • Seizures included plastic explosives, detonating caps and wick, almost 11 tonnes of fish, crustaceans and clams (4.5 tonnes of trout, 6 tonnes of sardines, 50 kg of immature fish, 48 kg of bluefin tuna, 80 kg of fine clams, 31 kg of Norway lobsters), high-tech equipment, computers and documents, 167 illegal fishing nets and 20 other illegal tools.

Europol facilitated the information exchange and the operational coordination and provided analytical support. 

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious and organized crime forms. Europol also works with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

EMPACT

In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Environmental crime is one of the priorities of the Policy Cycle.