A sea urchin poacher was caught in the act by the Guardia Civil as he got out of the water in a rocky area of Alicante’s Cabo de las Huertas.
The diving suit-clad man had a speargun and hook along with a net carrying 78 sea urchins.
He’s been charged with breaking flora and fauna protection laws by not having a licence for the activity.
The Guardia Civil’s Seprona environment unit carry out regular seaside patrols as poaching tends to increase during the summer.
The urchins were seized and handed over to the Santa Pola Marine Research Centre.
They confirmed they were specimens of Paracentrotus lividus which is a protected species under the Barcelona and Berne Conventions.
It’s Valencian Community presence is almost exclusively in specific areas of the Alicante area coastline.
They can reach up to seven centimetres in diameter and breed on rocky shores with numbers declining in recent years.
- Police free 260 kilos of live octopus caught in illegal traps in Santoña, northern Spain
- New weapon launched to net illegal fishing offenders in Mallorca