In a statement, the GNR indicated that the seizure occurred on Saturday, 18 January, "after the military has detected several individuals catching that bivalve outside the legally established daily periods, between sunrise and sunset".

According to that force, the men “took to flight, using their own boats and abandoning the 40 bags of cockles”, in a total of 1.6 tonnes, which they were unloading in the vicinity of the city of Faro.

"The military also verified that part of the cockles did not have the minimum mandatory size, in this case 2.5 centimetres, and the bivalves were returned to their natural 'habitat'", said the guard.

The seizure resulted from an inspection action by the Olhão Coastal Control Sub-detachment in the context of “preservation of marine species, safeguarding the fauna and flora of coastal areas and the control of illegal capture of bivalves”, contextualized the GNR.

According to the same source, the harvesting of bivalves outside the legally established daily periods constitutes an offense punishable by a fine that can reach 25 thousand Euros.