Illegal sea urchin fishing on the rise in Javea

Photo of Teresa Ribera at the Cepsa plant in Tenerife. Credit: [email protected]

Javea Town Hall asked the hospitality industry to be ‘responsible’ and only purchase sea urchins from regulated professionals.

This follows the arrest of two people in Javea for illegally fishing sea urchins from the sea by Primer Muntanyar. One of them reportedly pretended to be fishing with a rod, while the other collected the creatures.

When they saw the officers, they threw them back into the sea. Police counted 270 urchins.

This follows the two people found taking sea urchins from the Els Pallers cove in Portitxol. In mid-December eight divers were arrested for allegedly illegally taking more than 300 sea urchins from the sea in Javea, also in Els Pallers.

It is forbidden to take sea urchins from the sea between March and December after which they must be of a minimum size and can only be caught from professional fishing boats using the regulated methods in December, January and February.

This sea urchin picking season has seen an increase in the illegal fishing of this species. The reason for this is believed to be due to an increase in the selling price, which has now reached around €1 each.

Illegal fishing can lead to overfishing of the species, not allowing it to replenish stocks.

By Nicole Hallett

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