A fishing boat from Caleta de Vélez has been caught fishing illegally off the coast of the Maro–Cerro Gordo natural park. A group of diving enthusiasts from Motril captured video of the vessel in early January and have forwarded it to the authorities.
Ten years ago, the area around the cliffs east of Nerja was declared a natural reserve which gives a semi-protected status to its flora, fauna and geology. It covers a total of 1,913 hectares of which 384 are on land and 1,529 are at sea.
As such, fishing is prohibited along 12 kilometres of coast and within one nautical mile (1,600 metres) from the shoreline at depths of not less than 50 metres. However, the Club de Actividades Subacuáticas La Espera based in Motril say their members spotted fishing activity in broad daylight at about 400 metres from the shore early in January and shot video which they later published on Facebook. They claimed the boat was in 34 metres of water and trawling the sea bed which is a threatened and fragile area of environmental biodiversity.
The club says it has sent a copy of the video to the relevant offices of the Guardia Civil and the regional government. It also claims that this is not the first incident of this kind which their members have witnessed in the same area and claim that the controls available to the authorities, “do not have the resources to cover the entire protected coastline.”