ROLFI: INTER-REGIONAL MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AGAINST PO RIVER POACHING SIGNED
“Now is the time to fast-track regulation and develop a unified management of the river.”
A three-year memorandum of understanding controlling illegal fishing in the Po River Basin was signed by the Regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, the prefectures of Milan, Turin, Venice and Bologna and the Po River Basin authority this morning in Isola Serafini, in the municipality of Monticelli d’Ongina (Piacenza)
Over the years, the Po River has suffered from strong anthropogenic pressures that have simplified ichthyological biodiversity and rarefied native species such as the sturgeon and eel. There has been an increase in invasive species that have further reduced native and protected species.
Lombardy Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Food and Green Systems Fabio Rolfi said: “Unfortunately, illegal fishing is increasing, carried out by organised foreign gangs, and we intend to fight it along the entire Po River. We are committed to completing a common fisheries regulation to ensure simple and conservative methods that will highlight the illegal fishing issue. This agreement provides for a strengthening of the provincial and local Police Forces, by updating equipment for night control and navigation in the riverbed. It will be necessary to coordinate the recreational fishing and fishing associations and the fishery guards, so that they can be a deterrent against the poaching.”
The document allows for the monitoring at points of boarding, fishing, unloading and parking of support vehicles. In the medium term the equipment used by provincial and local police forces and voluntary fisheries surveillance, such as vehicles, boats and their trailers, night viewers will be improved, and an annual budget for maintenance.
Rolfi concluded: “Now it is necessary to fast-track the development of a common regulation for the Po River and develop a unified management to ensure an effective control of a single ecosystem, identifying a specific objective, to defend and enhance it appropriately.”