Oceana demands a fine of €160,000 for every poacher in Cabrera

The conservation organisation has detected several serious infractions involving spearfishermen caught in the Cala Santa Maria integral reserve.

Press Release Date: February 19, 2014

Location: Madrid


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The open disciplinary proceedings do not take into account the fact that the poachers were in national park waters, and currently lists fishing without a licence as the only offence.

Oceana calls for the maximum penalty for the poachers who were caught last summer fishing in the Cala Santa Maria integral reserve, in the island of Cabrera.  Oceana, which forms part of the Board of Trustees of the national park, has appeared in the administrative enquiry and has sent a list to the Balearic Government Directorate-General of the Marine Environment and of the Natural Environment of the breaches of fishing and environmental regulations that have not been included and for which poachers must be held to account:

–       Serious fishing infractions:

   fishing in prohibited seabeds

   catching of specimens smaller than the minimum legal size

   catching more than the maximum legal quota

–       Environmental infractions:

   capture of wild animals without authorisation

   spearfishing in a national park and, more specifically, in an integral reserve

   swimming outside permitted areas

   sailing without authorisation and outside permitted areas

In addition, Oceana seeks to ascertain whether or not unauthorised anchoring and the failure to use regulation beacons by spearfishermen should also be added to the offences listed in the complaint. If this is the case, two more offence have been committed, which should also be punished.

Oceana has made a request to the DG of the Marine Environment that these points be included in the case files, and to the DG of the Natural Environment that the necessary action is taken to penalise the offences committed. Thus, the international marine conservation organisation has requested the maximum applicable penalty, a total fine of €160,000 for each of the poachers, and requires that the two people who were in the boat providing assistance to the poachers are also held responsible, as accomplices to nearly all of offences mentioned.

“The tremendous reduction in the budget for Cabrera has led to a decline in vigilance in the park, so that poachers dare to enter, even into the most protected areas, the integral reserves, seriously threatening the recovery efforts, involving ecosystems and marine resources, that have conducted over the past thirty years,” said Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe. “It is therefore imperative that the penalty applied to the poachers is proportional to the seriousness of the offences and that it acts as a deterrent. It should provide a serious warning to other illegal fishermen.”

In August 2013, environmental agents belonging to the National Park of Cabrera detected four people fishing illegally in park waters. The offence consisted not only in carrying out this activity without the corresponding licence, but in doing so within a national park, and in one of the most sensitive and protected areas, the integral reserve of Cala Santa Maria, very close to the port of Cabrera itself. Thus, with the collaboration of the Guardia Civil Maritime Service, groupers, meagres, amberjacks and a sea bream were seized, either freshly fished or already in a fridge on board, some of which are protected species or were smaller than the minimum legal size.

More information: Cabrera