The Civil Guard detains three poachers in the Cabo Tiñoso marine reserve in Cartagena

Image taken during the investigation carried out by the Civil Guard in the waters of Cabo Tiñoso, in Cartagena

The Civil Guard has detained three poacherous underwater fishermen as alleged perpetrators of a crime against flora and fauna and against natural resources and the environment in the Cabo Tiñoso reserve, in Cartagena (Murcia) Benemérita sources have reported in a statement.

The operation, called ‘Apulmón’, has been carried out in collaboration with the Fisheries and Aquaculture Service of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia.

During the development of the investigation, members of the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) and inspectors from the Community have seized various fishing gear and other elements used in enlightened criminal activity.

The proceedings began last October, when the Civil Guard opened the investigation to clarify the discovery of three people practicing spearfishing in the Cabo Tiñoso marine reserve, an area with a high level of protection.

The investigations carried out ‘in situ’, as well as the technical-ocular inspection carried out, allowed obtaining indications about the alleged criminal activities. Among others, it was verified that the area where the fishermen were surprised was perfectly signposted by buoys, verifying with this that there was no possibility of recklessness on their part.

The Community Fisheries Service prepared the corresponding report on possible biological and socioeconomic damage caused in the Cabo Tiñoso marine reserve, in which, among others, the limitation of reproduction and the incorporation of recruits to the population that contribute to the creation of the desired reserve effect was verified.

Poachers were seized two harpoons, a lead belt for diving, and a compact video and photography camera with different catches. The analysis of its content allowed verifying the capture of a ‘tord’, which belongs to the ‘labrus’ family and which, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is a threatened species.

The fishermen used a boat manned by one of the detainees, which carried out surveillance functions while the other two submerged to carry out illegal fishing. When they sighted the surveillance boat of the marine reserves, they got rid of the catches and other fishing elements, including a camera and aquatic video, all of which were seized.

Fruit of the investigation, Civil guards have identified the three suspected poachers acting in a group and that, finally, They have been arrested for a crime against flora and fauna in a group protected area (poaching) and crime against natural resources and the environment, by being able to seriously harm the balance of natural systems.

Marine reserves of fishing interest aim to increase the breeder mass for that, from the first reproduction size, they can spawn and generate abundant life in the area that continues to grow since youth in these protected waters, so that after a while, depending on the species, can join the reproductive population.

This cyclical effect of incorporating new recruits into the population causes, over time, an exit by the population to colonize other areas, since either the food chain in that area does not provide them with enough food or the habitat in which they live no longer has carrying capacity.

The effects of poaching on the marine reserve could lead to a serious imbalance in natural systems, eliminating the generation of life in it and limiting the reproduction and incorporation of recruits to the population that contribute to the creation of the ‘reserve effect’.

The detainees, the seized effects and the proceedings instructed have been made available to the Cartagena Investigating Court.

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