SUSPECTING that illegal fishing for blue fin tuna was taking place a surprise inspection of the Nuevo Bamby fishing vessel took place as it entered the port of Tarifa in a joint investigation involving the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Civil Guard and the Sub-delegation of the Government in Cadiz.
Divers from the maritime section of the Guardia Civil discovered 11 of the fish underneath the vessel which had stopped at sea and tried to hide them when the crew realised that they were to be stopped and searched.
This was the culmination of an investigation undertaken by the fisheries inspection services, which detected that some vessels, despite having a quota for said species, declared daily catches below a normal fishing activity, in comparison with other ships of the same fleet.
Last August, a van was stopped and 15 illegally caught blue fin tuna were discovered as they had not been sold officially in the fish market and did not have the required documentation.
Officers suspected that it was the Nuevo Bamby which was responsible for catching the tuna illegally and the vessel was monitored on a regular basis and suspicions were proven correct with the seizure of the 11 fish weighing 392 kilos which were taken to the dock for confiscation and subsequent delivery to the Algeciras Food Bank.
Whilst investigations continue, the vessel is being held in Tarifa port and may possibly be confiscated on a permanent basis.