Four people arrested carrying bags with live glass eels

in News · 11-02-2020 11:12:00 · 3 Comments

Three men and a woman who were carrying eight suitcases filled with live glass eels, with a total weight of almost 70 kilos and valued at around 452 thousand Euros, were detained at Lisbon Airport, announced the PSP

The Airport Security Division, through the Metropolitan Command of the Lisbon Public Security Police, detained the suspects, aged between 29 and 43 years old, on suspicion of the practice of the “crime of damage against nature and qualified smuggling (in the attempted form) of a protected and threatened species in danger of extinction”, says the PSP in a statement.

According to the PSP, the suspects were in possession of “eight large suitcases, in a baggage dispatch situation, containing live glass eels [baby eel], with a total weight of 69,540 kilos and a total value of approximately 452,011 .00 Euros”.

In order to ensure that the glass eel reached its destination alive, the suspects transported the baby eels in double plastic bags, with an adequate proportion of water and air and protected with thermal films, to allow the temperature to remain stable during the entire journey.

"The glass eels were seized, subjected to expert examination and weighing by an expert from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) and were returned to their natural habitat, on the Tagus River", says the PSP.

The detainees were present at the Judicial Court of the District of Lisbon for the first judicial interrogation, with the coercive measure of Term of Identity and Residence being applied to all.

According to the ICNF, the glass eel constitutes one of the phases of development of the complex and long life cycle of the European eel, of scientific name 'Anguilla anguilla', which has its beginning and end in the Sargasso Sea, in the North Atlantic, next to the American coast, where the reproduction of this species takes place.

In Portugal, the capture of glass eels is only possible on the Rio Minho, and is subject to strong regulation by fisheries legislation, namely registration of local fishermen in the Captaincy of Porto de Caminha.

In addition, the subsequent holding and commercialisation still depends on a community certificate, issued by the ICNF, as a CITES administrative authority.


Please keep us updated on this story! Only exemplary penalties and education will serve as a deterrent for environmental crimes like this!

By Tony Fernandes from Other on 13-02-2020 11:05

I'm glad the crooks were caught as so many times they get away with senseless crimes of animal abuse and towards nature in general.

By Jose Goncalves from Other on 13-02-2020 09:37

I am so glad to hear that these glass eels were saved. The European Eel used to be so common when I was a boy and it is truly alarming to see how it has become an endangered species today.

By Steve Andrews from Other on 11-02-2020 12:51
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