07/13/20 Extermination of sea cucumbers in the island of Krk
Animals' Friends have reported to appropriate authorities another case of the devastation of Adriatic Sea
- In „Let's respect our sea“ campaign, Animal Friends Croatia is warning on the existence of prohibition for fishing by the coast.
They have received a report about illegal extermination and surfacing of sea cucumbers which took place in the morning on Thursday, 9th of July 2020, near the beach in Punat, on the island of Krk, where the offenders have been reported to Department for Fisheries at Ministry of agriculture and State Inspector's Office of the Republic of Croatia.
Information about this event has been communicated by a witness which saw the offender how, after more than one hour of diving, pulls out a large bag of sea cucumbers on his boat. While one offender was diving, the other was waiting in the boat, after which both offenders started to „clean“ around a hundred of sea cucumbers. According to witness' stand, which has delivered photos and video to Animals' friends, it seems that the offenders have put one sliced piece into the bucket, and the rest of mutilated sea cucumbers were thrown back into the sea. According to Article 1 of Statutes of closure on sea cucumbers ( Holothuroidea ) from 6th of March 2018, a prohibit has been listed for collecting sea cucumbers from the day of enforcement of this Statutes ( NN 29/2018, number of documents issued: 594, pages of publication: 83, date of publication: 28.03.2018 ).
By this regulation, sea cucumbers are protected as they are extremely important for the functionality of the ecologic system of marine soil, and the knowledge that their harvesting causes devastation of the sea.
Sea cucumbers are decomposers, which means that they „drag“ sand and sea sediments through their digestive system, by eliminating organic substances which they feed on. In parts of the sea where there are no sea cucumbers occurs an increase of bacterias as well as the lack of oxygen. Fish and other moving organisms will abandon such anoxic environment, while organisms which do not have the ability to move, will die. It has already been reported and pointed out by Croatian media that this is a great ecological problem and an organized crime where groups of smugglers of sea cucumbers as well as of shellfish and other sea animals, are systematically destroying marine soil of Adriatic sea for years, in order to satisfy gourmets from Asia and around the world. Animal Friends Croatia has also joined this fight in saving the Adriatic sea.
In July 2018 Animal Friends Croatia have launched a campaign named „Let's respect our sea“ in cooperation with international organization Eurogroup for Animals, a leading organization for animals welfare which operates on European Union level, with a goal to educate citizens of Croatia as well as tourists about the importance of our sea, and for all life within it, which is important from both ethical and ecological reasons.
Within this campaign, informational and educational billboards have been installed, inshore local communities have been contacted as well as Ministry of agriculture, chain stores and supermarkets which sell living fish and crayfish, three short animated movies was launched as well as a vegan cookbook "Green meals for the blue sea" with „fish“ recipes without fish. Numerous information about the destruction of the Adriatic sea due to harvesting fish, where life has been decreased to even 50%, indicates the necessity of protecting the sea as well as life in it.
One of the problems which seek to be highlighted by this campaign is fishing by the coast. Fish and other sea animals that slowly die under the sun around our beaches and shores present excruciating scenes. Furthermore, a sight of swimmers and bathers which are often being injured on fishing rods when swimming or diving shouldn't' be lost. So it is important for everyone to get that fishing is prohibited, that is, people are not allowed to fish without a special licence issued by the Directorate of the fishery.
The newest example of destroying sea cucumbers on the island of Krk is just another indicator of how we all must approach highly seriously to the protection of the Adriatic Sea. This is also an appeal from Animal Friends Croatia to every individual to warn tourists and domestic guests as well as local residents to respect Adriatic sea and to be an example of preservation and responsible behavior as well as to send a message to their children to observe animals, to care about the purity of their habitat, to help a sea animal by returning it to the sea, and not to hunt or hurt them.