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Over 15 tons of illegal fish seized in Cuban province

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 8 (ACN) More than 15,700 kilograms of fish species were confiscated in police raids carried out in private restaurants, tourism cars, capture zones and other areas of the central Cuban province of Santi Spiritus during 2018.

Poaching, the transfer in any medium or in a personal way and the reception of species that are banned or prohibited from commercialization, are the main violations detected by members of the National Office of State Inspection (ONIE) in the province during 2018.

In more than 240 raids out, indistinctly, in areas prone to crime, in private restaurants, tourism rental cars, reservoirs and maritime areas, more than 15 700 kilograms of fishery products were confiscated, around 4 800 meters of nets, 15 naval means, 54 submarine means and five refrigerators, which led to the application of 198 Decree-Laws with an economic amount equivalent to 66 650 pesos and, in some cases, people were charged.

Iraldo Romero Betancourt, director of ONIE in Sancti Spíritus, said his inspectors, along with the National Revolutionary Police, members of the Border Guard Troops, the Courts and the Ranger Corps intervened in operations in Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, Tunas de Zaza, Guasimal and Fomento.

Among the species confiscated are: 1,746 kilograms of whole lobster, 9,892 kilograms of whole shrimp - cultured and platform, the highest figure confiscated on the island - as well as 4,106 kilograms of fish and 21 kilograms of turtles.

"We also operate in six paladares (private restaurants) of Sancti Spíritus and Fomento, in which we find a total of 160 kilograms not only of crustaceans, but also of crab mass and platform fish without the due justification that protects their legal origin, in which we apply fines of between 3,000 and 5,000 pesos and the confiscation of goods used for the conservation of these foods," said Iraldo.

The ONIE director explained that 40 percent of the decrees applied in 2018 correspond to natural persons who practice fishing in reservoirs without proper authorization, a phenomenon that continues to rise, especially in the spillway and curtain of the Zaza dam, the latter frequented by clandestine fishermen of Sancti Spíritus and other neighboring territories that operate on floating means in search of trout, which has greater presence there.

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