Spain Throws a Line to Canada in Fish Fight

Spain Throws a Line to Canada in Fish Fight

Regarding the article ''Why Spain Confronts Canada in a Fish Fight,'' March 31, I would like to underline a few additional points:

*The Spanish trawler Estai was inspected by a European Union (EU) team as soon as the trawler returned to its home port in Spain. According to the report of British inspectors of the EU, Canadian claims about illegal catch and gear are false. Besides, this vessel underwent nine inspections by the North-West Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO, the international body that gets quotas in the region), Canada, and the EU in 1993, with only one minor infringement.

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*After the seizure, the EU requested a meeting of the NAFO to reach a compromise with Canada on the share-out of quotas for Greenland hailbut and to avert further escalation of the dispute. But the meeting had to be postponed after Canada asked for a delay and now appears uninterested in resolving the problem within NAFO.

*Canada's illegal and unilateral actions came on the eve of a worldwide United Nations Conference to tackle the subject of highly migratory fish stocks.

*Spain has submitted a case against Canada at the main judicial body of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, over the illegal actions of Canada.

Let us hope that Canada, consistent with its tradition, accepts the judgment of the World Court and refrains from acting as it has done lately, harassing and seizing EU trawlers in international waters.

Juan Antonio Yanez-Barnuevo, New York

Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations

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