1st April, 2003
Dirty deals between the European Commission and Ireland have enabled the world’s biggest trawler to plunder African fish stocks.Fishing for Trouble
The Atlantic Dawn, the world’s biggest fishing vessel, was launched in Dublin in August 2000. It cost its skipper-owner, Irish businessman Kevin McHugh, £50m. Built in Norway, the ship also cost Norwegian taxpayers £4m in government shipyard subsidies. These subsidies have helped keep Norway’s shipbuilding industry afloat.
Even though Ireland was already exceeding the EU’s mandated maximum allowable domestic fleet size by 30 per cent, the Irish government gave the Atlantic Dawn a temporary fishing license to fish in international waters. But in October 2001 the European Commission launched two court actions against Ireland for exceeding the allowable fishing-fleet size and for registration infringements concerning the Atlantic Dawn.
EU regulations mandate that all fishing vessels be placed on a European fishing registry. Having the Atlantic Dawn added to its fishing fleet would have blown Ireland’s already excessive...
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