SEPNA seizes 63 illegal fishing traps in Lagoa dos Salgados

Animals that were trapped were returned to the wild

63 pots that were being used for illegal fishing were seized by the Nature and Environment Protection Service (SEPNA) of the GNR, in Lagoa dos Salgados, in the municipality of Silves, on Monday, the 6th.

Following a complaint via Linha SOS Ambiente e Território, reporting that in Lagoa dos Salgados there were three birds trapped in traps/nets, SEPNA members went to the location where they detected the existence of dozens of pots.

The fishing traps were collected and seized by members of the SEPNA of Silves, Albufeira and the Coastal Control Detachment of Olhão and by a team from the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF).

Authorities visited the banks of Lagoa dos Salgados and discovered traps with several captured animals, which were later returned to the wild.

«These fishing gear “nassas or galrichos” are used to capture eels, although they also capture other species», according to the GNR.

The eel “is in a critically endangered conservation status according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.”

«This type of fishing using unauthorized means and processes, combined with the fact that they are intended to capture eels, as this species exists in small numbers in Portugal, may constitute a crime of damage to nature under the terms of art. 278 no. 1 of the Penal Code, as well as a crime against the preservation of aquacultural heritage", concludes the GNR.