The Ministry of Ecological Transition, The Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands has detected a total of 46 illegal actions in the Marine Special Conservation Zones (ZECs) of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, during the state of emergency decreed by the Central government as a result of COVID-19.

The minister for ecology, José Antonio Valbuena, explained that “during the confinement, the land surveillance service of the marine ZECs of Gran Canaria and Tenerife has maintained its professional activity, reinforcing the work of the State Security Corps for the compliance with the established measures, and to control possible cases of illegal fishing and shellfishing, among other infractions ”.

These monitoring tasks of the marine ZECs in the Archipelago are coordinated by the Biodiversity Service of the aforementioned regional Ministry, through the gamekeepers of the public company Tragsatec.

“Of the actions carried out, two resulted in a complaint for serious non-compliance, while the rest were resolved with actions or warnings for non-compliance,” Valbuena clarified. Violations detected by the ground surveillance service have included unauthorized camping, citizens walking along the coast, rod and reel fishing and illegal shellfishing or pleasure boats anchored in bathing areas.

Of the total registered infractions, 30 correspond to the ZEC of Tenerife and 16 to the ZEC of Gran Canaria and took place between March 18 and April 19.

The Special Conservation Zones are areas of great environmental interest for the protection of diversity and have been designated by the member states of the European Union (EU) to integrate within the Natura 2000 Network.