On the fourth day of the Operation Siracusa anti-poaching campaign, Sea Shepherd volunteers patrolling the Marine Reserve of the Parco del Plemmirio spotted an inflatable boat in the top-priority protection area referred to as the “A-Zone.”
In the darkest hour of the night, an inflatable and two divers, who at the time were in the water, were sighted in the area.
The authorities were immediately alerted and, thanks to a joint intervention by the Coast Guard and the Guardia di Finanza, the poachers were taken into custody and interrogated.
The Parco del Plemmirio is classified as an Area Specialmente Protetta di Interesse Mediterraneo (ASPIM), a designation given to places that are crucial to the conservation of biodiversity in the Mediterranean. This site is also known as an Area Marina di Reperimento, meaning a zone the conservation of which — by means of establishing protected areas — is deemed to be a priority.
Through Operation Siracusa, Sea Shepherd is ensuring that the sanctity of life is respected in this marine reserve, by protecting, defending and conserving this wonderful ecosystem and all the marine species dwelling within it. This campaign, already successfully halting poaching operations, is sending a clear message to the poachers who carry out their illegal activities in the Plemmirio Marine Reserve.
“Sea Shepherd works not only to save whales, dolphins, seals, and sharks. Our clients range from the tiniest plankton to the great whales. In our long history of campaigns, we have saved plankton, sea cucumbers, fish and lobsters,” said Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson. “All life forms in our seas and on Earth are interconnected and all species are important when the goal is to protect biodiversity. If the oceans die, we die!”