Illegal driftnetting off the Island of Ischia (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy)
DELPHIS Mediterranean Dolphin Conservation
Source article http://www.delphismdc.org/ing/progetti/driftnetting.htm
2nd August 2003 (posted)
Notwithstanding the EU band on the driftnetting fishery, started on January 1st, 2002, illegal fishing with drift nets is still a problem around the Island of Ischia. Swordfish boats equipped with driftnets were monitored in the area since May 2003, but only during the first period of sea storm it has been possible to count the boats operating in the region. Between the 2nd and the 3rd of July we recorded a total of 22 boats (15-25 m long) equipped with driftnets. 13 of these boats had modified the sides of their vessels to hide the nets carried on board, making it difficult to evaluate the volume of visible coils on the deck. 16 boats were from Calabria, two from Sicily and two from Ischia, whereas other two boats exhibited no registration code.
Swordfish were carried on three trucks, two of them showing the EU logo.
Since 1991, Studiomare has been carrying out a long-term study on the cetacean fauna off the island of Ischia. The geomorphology of the study area, including productive submarine canyons, makes it an attractive area for a number of cetacean species cetaceans. In particular, the waters of Ischia have been classified as a critical habitat for endangered short-beaked common dolphins in the recent IUCN Cetacean Action Plan (Reeves et al. 2003),
see http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/news/cetaceansap.htm) and represent an important feeding and breeding ground for cetacean species including the fin whale.
Studiomare has made available some photographic documentation: