In a statement, the GNR said that in the municipality of Lajes, Flores island, it identified two men aged 44 and 49 and issued a notice of violation for catching limpets ('Patella candei') during the off season, "with a fine of up to 3,500 euros.

Through the Territorial Post of Praia da Vitória, on the island of Terceira, the GNR detected two professional fishing boats unloading 55 kilos of mackerel ('Trachurus picturatus') and 195 kilos of horse mackerel ('Decapterus macarellus') "without the obligatory registration and transport documents".

This "did not allow the origin of the fish to be determined, nor whether the mandatory rules regarding traceability had been complied with, thus having the possibility of constituting a danger to public health", explains the GNR.

"During the operation 250 kilos of fresh fish were seized, and two men aged 62 and 68 were identified, and the respective administrative offence notices were drawn up for transporting fish without ensuring its traceability," the police force adds.

The fish seized in the operation carried out with the collaboration of the Regional Fisheries Inspectorate was, after being subjected to hygiene and sanitation checks, given to a charitable institution.

The same happened to the limpets seized on Wednesday, when the military of the Guard "detected a 49-year-old man who was picking limpets, during the off season on the coast.

In the statement, the GNR recalls that "the implementation of the closed season, as well as the reserve areas, results in biological benefits, allows greater protection of the spawning, larval development and fixing of these specimens, determining factors for the development of limpets.

GNR highlights "that the practice of sustainable fishing, which respects nature and the integrity of ecosystems, contributes to the conservation of fish stocks and, at the same time, to the creation of conditions for prosperity and employment in the fisheries sector."