Sixteen prawn companies have been fined for rigging the North Sea prawn catch and fixing prices.

The Dutch competition authority NMa has fined the companies €13.8m (US$14.6m). The companies include eight Dutch prawn wholesalers, all of whom are members of the VBGA Dutch prawn processors’ association. They also include four Dutch producers, three German and one Danish.

The NMa decided that the fined companies had used underhand measures to keep prices artificially high. They also prevented a new wholesaler from entering the market.