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Inpesca Purse Seiner Avoids IUU List After Financial Settlement

Spanish tuna purse seiner Txori Argi will no longer face being added to the IUU vessel list after the case of its illegal fishing accusations has been settled.
ANABAC (Spain’s national association of tuna freezer vessels ship-owners) who represented the seiner when it was first charged confirmed the settlement of the Inpesca vessel. The Txori Argi had faced allegations of illegal fishing by the Mozambique government, but the association said it was unauthorized to disclose any extra details on the case.
It was reported by Undercurrent News however that the settlement came at a cost of USD 700,000 to Inpesca, which results in the fishing vessel staying off the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel list. contacted ANABAC, who said they could not confirm this amount. They added: “There are no pending issues with Mozambique or any other coastal country.”

In August 2012, when the Spanish tuna vessel was released by Mozambique, a USD 1.2 million fine that was issued to be paid was not waged by the Txori Argi seiner owners, Inpesca, which prompted Mozambique to request it to be added to the IUU vessel list. The case was passed from the IOTC to the European Union and Mozambique to settle and the requested fine was deemed too high by the EU.

The vessel was said to have failed to send the mandatory entry report which includes catch details and was also found to not be carrying its fishing license on board. On inspection in the port of Nacala the ship was found to have more than USD 2.5 million worth of tuna on board at around 1,200 tons.
The inspection was also said to find evidence to support the captain’s claim that the vessel had found itself in Mozambique waters due to a strong sea current that caused no possibility to change course.