This morning, following a patrol mission carried out in the Partial Nature Reserve of Garajau, two teams from the Nature Watch Corps detected, collected and dismantled ten illegal pits that were placed inside that protected area.
According to a note sent by the Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation, once the trapped fish was released, it was possible to verify that most of the collected pots indicated that they had been placed very recently, and that efforts are being made to identify two individual suspects and the vessel used in this illegal practice.
The same note says that “it is important to mention that the improper / and or illegal use of this fishing gear has very relevant impacts on marine ecosystems. The holes, when abandoned, promote a non-selective “ghost” fishing whose impacts are sometimes irreversible. this fact leads to this type of action being of the utmost importance for the safeguarding of this Natural Reserve and its heritage”.
The Partial Nature Reserve of Garajau is located in the east of Funchal. This protected area has an extension of approximately six miles and is limited by Ponta do Lazareto, to the west, and Ponta da Oliveira, to the east. The protected area extends between the high tide line and the bathymetric line of 50 meters to the south or, in case of doubt, 600 meters from the coast.
Among other prohibitions, this partial nature reserve is prohibited to engage in commercial or sport fishing activities, underwater hunting, the use of any type of net and navigation with a motorized vessel.