Illegal fishing in Capri – level 3

11-05-2021 07:00

Local politicians in the Italian island of Capri are urging the government to establish a protected marine reserve around the island in an effort to protect its marine ecosystem that is threatened by illegal fishing and boat overcrowding.

Off the southern Italian coast, police divers find date mussels in nets; however, catching this valuable shellfish is illegal. Divers harvest them by using hammers and chisels to extract them from rocks and coral reefs. It severely damages the rocky parts of the coast, and they need many years to recover.

On the black market, the mussels are sold for up to 240 dollars per kilogram. According to police, the shellfish are bought illegally by restaurants in nearby towns. A 3-year investigation broke up two organizations who were even using explosives to harvest the shellfish, and they sold over 7.5 kilograms of the illegal product over just a few months.

Difficult words: marine reserve (a part of the ocean where a government has placed limits on human activity), ecosystem (a group of living organisms that live and interact with each other in a certain environment).

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