Illegal fishing

An important threat for short-beaked common dolphins and other cetaceans of Ischia is represented by the illegal fishing of swordfish with driftnets, sadly known for the high impact on Mediterranean cetaceans.

illegale 01 Collage

Despite the EU ban, in force since 2002, the swordfish illegal fishing did not stop. At present there are fewer big fishing boats, replaced by small tonnage vessels fishing inshore.

Unfortunately, several specimens of cetaceans were found dead along the coasts of the island and the Gulf of Naples; animals bore obvious signs of impact on the body with the nets: marks on the skin, dorsal and caudal fins mutilated.

Sometimes you can save animals that are abandoned to their fate by the fishermen. On August 9th , 2004, a group of sperm whales, consisting of two adult females and three immature, including two infants, was saved by the Naples Coast Guard's divers. The sperm whales were found on the shoreline with their tails tied together by an impressive cluster of nets. The divers were working for two days, before being able to cut the nets using simple scissors (any other cutting tool was unsuitable for the net and/or animals). During the night the sperm whales were tracked by radar and monitored with infrared cameras. The released animals, stayed in the proximity of fellow prisoners day and night, until  the whole group was freed.