Salerno

9-km driftnet seized off Salerno

Could have caused 'serious damage' coastguards say

9-km driftnet seized off Salerno

Salerno, May 15 - Italian coastguards seized a nine-kilometre-long driftnet cast into the sea off Salerno Tuesday night. The owner of the boat was cited for using illegal nets and two sailors for threatening officers. Police said the net "could have caused serious damage to the underwater eco-system". Conservation organisation Oceana recently warned that the use of illegal driftnets by Italian fishermen was still widespread despite a 2002 ban. Around 10,000 whales are killed in the Mediterranean each year after being caught in driftnets, which are kilometres-long vertical walls of net that float hanging from the surface of the water, often to depths of 30 metres. Some 8,000 of whale bycatch deaths take place in Italian waters, according to Oceana. Sperm whales, pilot whales and fin whales all fall victim to the nets, as do common, striped and bottlenose dolphins and loggerhead turtles.

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