Defending the sea once more thanks to Operation Siracusa

Monday, 12 Jun, 2017

Sea Shepherd, as part of Operation Siracusa and in cooperation with the members of the Guardia di Finanza, contributed to the arrest of two divers illegally fishing in the Plemmirio Marine Reserve.

Poachers in the Plemmirio Marine Reserve being arrested by the Guardia di Finanza. Photo Sea Shepherd Italia.
A poacher surfaces in the Plemmirio Marine Reserve with fishing gear. Photo Sea Shepherd Italia.

Around daybreak on Friday June 9th, Sea Shepherd volunteers returning from their night patrol shifts happened upon two poachers equipped with swim-fins and diving gear who, after recognizing the volunteers, tried to run away. Captain Dessena, who is in charge of the Sea Shepherd vessel M/V Brigitte Bardot, deployed an inflatable speed boat to the area where the events took place at the border between the partially protected "B" zone and the "A" zone that enjoys total protection. The Guardia di Finanza* team intervened quickly after being alerted, finding the poachers and taking them into custody for questioning.  

Marine wildlife had already considerably recovered in the Plemmirio Marine Reserve shortly after the Reserve itself was established. But intense poaching in the following few years has once again caused the disappearance of the most prized species such as the sea urchin and the dusky grouper.

To protect these species, Sea Shepherd Italia took action and deployed its volunteers to stand as a bulwark in defense of marine wildlife. The first Italian operational campaign, called Operation Siracusa, took place in 2014. Sea Shepherd has been present every year since then to defend the Plemmirio Marine Reserve, in cooperation with the locals managing the Reserve, the Coast Guard and Guardia di Finanza's military personnel, the Polizia Provinciale** and the Polizia Ambientale***. 

Translation by Sea Shepherd Italia

* Guardia di Finanza = Italian Customs Police
** Polizia Provinciale = Provincial Police
*** Polizia Ambientale = Environmental Police


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