MEMBERS of the Seprona section of the Guardia Civil have been involved in a year-long investigation into poaching of sea anemones (ortiguillas) worth tens of thousands of euros.
In two separate actions which have seen raids in Cadiz and Malaga, officers have seized 3,325 kilos of sea anemones, 72 kilos of sea urchins, 24 nets, diving equipment and three vehicles.
Four wholesalers in Cadiz were discovered to be purchasing rustled sea anemones from four poachers and in order to appear to be trading in them legitimately, they ‘doctored’ official licenses issued by the Junta de Andalucía in Malaga.
The illegally caught ortiguillas were supplied by poachers working in the waters off the coasts of Cadiz, Granada and Malaga provinces.
All of those investigated were related and worked together at different sites trying to ensure that their illicit trade was not discovered.
As it was impossible to trace the official source of all of the seized creatures, the department of Agriculture and Fisheries decreed that they should all be destroyed.