Merida, Yucatan –Sixteen people have been arrested in the past week for illegal fishing. The latest incident occurred when eight fishermen were arrested in the port of Santa Clara outside the city of Merida after police found them fishing protected species.
Elements of the Ministry of Public Security in Merida have arrested a group of fishermen who were seen unloading numerous bags from their boat. When authorities began making their way toward the boat, the men onboard attempted to flee, but were caught and arrested.
Upon inspection, authorities found the men had illegally fished dozens of white snail, a protected species in Mexico that is considered on the verge of extinction.
This is the second time in less than a week that marine officials have discovered illegal fishing. On May 9, authorities from Secretaría de Seguridad Pública found another eight fishermen in possession of 600 kilos of sea cucumber in Chicxulub Puerto.
All onboard were also arrested and taken to jail to wait presentation before a judge.
Both state and federal authorities say that coordinated work to combat poaching of species such as sea cucumber, white snail and others that are in permanent protection, are needed since they are all in danger of extinction.
Experts say that illegal fishing causes serious damage to the ecology and economy of the country, particularly the coastal communities.