Poaching with “cannizzo”: here’s why it’s also a problem for boats


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The news is that yesterday morning a Maltese fishing boat was stopped by the Coast Guard in Italian waters off Pantelleria while it was illegally “cannizzi” fishing for dolphinfish. For the record, the boat captain was fined 4,000 euros and had his equipment and 600 kilograms of fish seized.

But what are cannizzi, also known by the technical name of FAD (Fishing Aggregating Device)? These are artisanal fishing devices consisting of a float (plastic bins and palm leaves) and a bottom anchor (a long polypropylene thread, tied around a weight of cement or rocks, which acts as ballast).

What does the law say? Professional “purse seine” fishing with the help of these systems can only be conducted from August 15 to December 31, also it must be arranged with biodegradable lines and floats in order to minimize the impact on the environment. Most importantly, FADs must be reported.

Which, unfortunately, is often not the case. In the current year alone, the Coast Guard with the use of offshore patrol vessels, helicopters and other naval assets assigned to area commands has recovered and seized about 200 illegal and unreported FADs in Italian waters, mainly in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea.

In addition to being a major economic detriment to those who fish operating legally and creating damage to the ecosystem due to plastic often dispersed at the end of use, unmarked canyons are a serious hazard to boaters, because at night and in poor visibility conditions you will not have a chance to avoid them.


It’s off to hunt! Send us photos of your plastic catches, litter, and shots of your sightings of fish, cetaceans, jellyfish, seabirds! To the Instagram inbox @giornaledellavela, or post them on your profile with the hashtag #medplastic2020, or on the Medplastic Team facebook group! We will award prizes for the most beautiful ones, you have until October 31!

The No Plastic 2020 contest is being held in collaboration with Navico, a brand that brings together the boat electronics brands B&G, Lowrance, Simrad, and the dedicated mapping brand C-Map. And that it will raffle off prize vouchers spendable on its entire product range.



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