Based on the Joint Action Plan for prevention and countering illegal acts in the fishery field, the Romanian Border Police and the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture organized an activity aiming to protect and to preserve the natural fishery fund through the prevention and countering illegal fishing, as well as the illegal exploitation of biological resources in the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone of Romania.
Within the action developed jointly, during 18-19.02.2019, the inspectors of the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture carried out fishery inspections on board of fishing vessels in Romania and Bulgaria, non-revealing any inaccuracies. At the same time, at approximately 65 miles East Constanta, in the Exclusive Economic Zone, where Romania has sovereign rights, “Ostik Senol” fishing vessel, Turkish flag, was detected. There were indications that it carried out illegal fishing activities and it failed to comply with the legal demands of the borders guards onboard of the Border Police vessel. “Ostik Senol” vessel was also involved in the previous years in criminal activities, currently being on progress 3 criminal files. The investigations are carried out under the coordination of the case prosecutor within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Court in Constanța.
According to the national legislation (GEO 104/2001 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Border Police, Law 17/1990 on the juridical regime of inland maritime waters, territorial sea, contiguous area and exclusive economic zone of Romania, GEO 23/2008 on fishing and aquaculture), Romanian Border Police acted to deter and check the fishing vessel. Because it did not comply with the legal demands carried out through all the radio-electronic, acoustic and optical-visual means, the border guards used gradually the weapons, carrying out warning gunshots, under the law.
Romanian Border Police did not forcedly intervene for boarding the vessel or hitting the propulsion device though gunshots onboard without putting at risk the lives of the persons onboard, as a result of the fact that the crew members were placed near the engines.
In order to penalize the persons violating the Romanian law in the Exclusive Economic Zone, the Romanian Border Police cooperated with the Turkish Coast Guard, permanently informing it on the current information. The Turkish Coast Guard undertook measures to intercept the fishing vessel, detecting it on 20.02.2019 in Istinye Port/Istanbul. The Turkish authorities informed the Border Police on the fact that the crew of the vessel “Ostik Senol” was administratively penalized for illegal border crossing and informed the port authorities in Istanbul regarding the lack of documents and the legal authorizations of the fishing vessel.
Illegal fishing committed by fishing vessels under Turkish flag was amplified starting with 2002 in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Romania. Last year, within the joint actions carried out by the Border Police together with the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture, approximately 1.4 tons of fish (turbot) were seized and approximately 33 km of different types of nets were recovered.
The prejudices against the aquatic ecosystem, by practicing illegal fishing during the prohibited periods and fishing with forbidden tools, cannot be recovered if firm measures shall not be undertaken by the national authorities in order to bring it to an end. The ecological disaster is amplified by the abandoning of the tools/fishing nets in water, the degrading of the captures in these fishing tools is a threat for the quality of the waters in that area, but also for the dolphins reaching accidentally in the nets, bringing severe prejudices against the preservation efforts of this species through the decrease of the number of reproducers. By taking firm measures, the Border Police and National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture succeeded to discourage illegal fishing in the maritime zone of Romania.
The measures taken by the Romanian Border Police resulted in the prevention of illegal fishing activities in the exclusive economic zone of Romania by unauthorized vessels, being in consensus with the activities carried out by the European Agencies for protection and preservation of biological resources.