Spanish trawlers were accused of landing illegally small fish in Cornwall and then transporting them to Spain by lorries.
Rumours abound that foreign ships are catching hake in Newlyn and then smuggling it back to Europe.
Spanish ships catch hake at a lower landing size than is allowed by law. They are prohibited from flogging it as it would be unsustainable.
Fish stocks are protected by the law. All fish caught below the maximum landing size have to be returned into the sea.
The online distribution of footage purporting to demonstrate the procedure was facilitated by uploading it.
According to some reports, a forklift truck was used to lift boxes of fish from the ground and place them inside a van.
However, locals assert that they have been caught on Spanish boats and not reported to the Marine Management Organisation of Cornwall (MMO) at Cornish port.
According to some, they then transport the items onto lorries before driving to Spain.
The Fishing Daily received this information from a source: “I went down there earlier in the week and was looking through boxes. I felt that I could do it, and the size is absolutely unbelievable.
“They are coming in and landing them on the back of the truck to ship to Spain. They even have the labels for their Merluza, which is Spanish for hake.
According to locals, Spanish-owned boats catch the fish and then don’t declare them at port.
They are said to go directly from the boat into the back of the lorry
Twitter commentator: “UK fishermen worked for MSC certification in order to protect stocks over many years. Now, how can everyone else help?
One other commenter said, “Does anyone inspect catch from UK before they load up lorries?”
British fishermen were given exclusive access to UK waters after Brexit. However, some say they have been able to see more foreign vessels than ever before.
According to an MMO spokesperson, enforcement is risk-based as well intelligence-led. The MMO’s focus is on areas of seasonal fishing and other intelligence that suggests that there are increased risks from illegal fishing.
“We urge people suspecting illegal activity to inform us. This will allow us to conduct assurance checks and to take corrective action when there is enough evidence.