Agents of the Government of the Canary Islands Fisheries Inspection Service have denounced three recreational boats for the practice of spearfishing in areas not permitted, capture of prohibited species and the possession of others of illegal size.
The seizure was the result of three actions carried out in the ports of Mogán, Agaete and La Aldea de San Nicolás where inspectors seized a total of 83 kilos of fish (grouper, comb grouper, mediterranean parrot fish, zebra seabream, atlantic horse mackerel, comber and shi drum), that were delivered to charitable centres.
In this regard, it was pointed out that some of the groupers were not of the regulatory size of 45 cm established by the Law and species were found whose capture is prohibited like Black drum (corvina negra in spa).
In addition, in an inspection carried out at a restaurant in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the agents seized 900 sea cucumbers caught without authorisation, which were dehydrated in several bags in a freezer at the establishment. This invertebrate plays a “very important” role in the ecological balance of the seabed “being a key part” of the recycling of nutrients and oxygenation, which is reason why their elimination has negative consequences in the coastal ecosystems.
The General Directorate of Fisheries of the Canary Islands Government indicate that sea cucmber populations are currently being decimated by illegal fishing because they are “highly appreciated for their supposed aphrodisiac properties and their increased use in the gastronomy of Asian countries, reaching a high price.” The sea cucumbers are exported to these countries, dehydrated, since in this way they do not present conservation problems and are “easier” to camouflage among other goods.
The Director of Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, Orlando Umpiérrez, pointed out that all these infringements are considered in Canary Islands Fisheries Law as serious, and may attract fines of up to 60,000 euros.