Watch: Maltese boat caught illegally fishing for lampuki off Pantelleria

Captain fined €4,000; lampuki, kannizzati confiscated

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Italian coast guard has confiscated the catch of a Maltese boat which was caught illegally fishing for lampuki off Pantelleria on Friday morning.

The Guardia Costiera said that it intercepted the Maltese vessel approximately 10 miles away from Pantelleria, ready to set up the traditional kannizzati to fish for lampuki.

As this was being done in Italian waters without authorisation, the vessel was escorted to the Italian island, and its captain was ultimately fined €4,000 for illegal fishing, for failing to correctly fill in the vessel’s logbook and for failing to identify the fishing aggregating devices (FAD) – the kannizzati.

The Italian authorities also seized 600kg of illegally-caught lampuki, as well as three kannizzati and a 250m mesh net, and the vessel left Pantelleria on Friday night. According to Pantelleria Notizie, the illegally-caught fish were put to good use: they were distributed to 50 needy families identified by social services in the Italian island.

The Guardia Costiera emphasised that lampuki fishing using the traditional method can only be practiced between 15 August and 31 December, and that each FAD used needed to be identified and authorised. It noted that it has seized some 200 illegal FADs in Italian waters so far this year.