[WATCH] Lampuki wars: Gozo fishers catch Tunisian poachers on video

Gozitan fishers face off Tunisian poachers on the high seas

Lampuki wars: Gozo fishers catch Tunisian poachers on video

A video sent to MaltaToday shows a war of words between Gozitan fishers and poachers, after their lampuki fishing lines in the Mediterranean were plundered by Tunisian poachers.

In the video, the fishermen engage with the Tunisians they suspect to be stealing their quarry from the traditional lampuki fishing lines, and give chase to ensure they sail off from their spot.

In another video, posted on Facebook, an Italian coast-guard can be seen firing warning shots at a Tunisian boat that did not stop when requested.

The MEP candidate Peter Agius posted the video as an example of how member state authorities should be protecting the fishing industry against poachers.

Maltese fishers say they have been let down by the authorities after promised patrols by the Armed Forces of Malta to act as a deterrent for Tunisian vessels plundering their lampuki catch, failed to materialise.

At the start of the lampuki fishing season, the Fisheries Ministry said that the AFM would be patrolling the sea where Maltese fishers lay out their fishing lines in a bid to stave off the friction with Tunisian fishers.

In August the authorities had assured that Maltese fishers on the high seas setting sail for this year’s lampuki season would be accompanied by an army patrol boat.

READ MORE: Maltese armed forces to monitor lampuki fishing grounds for Tunisian raiders

Maltese lampuki fishers last year said their catches were plundered by Tunisian counterparts in what is a veritable war on the high seas.

Fishers reported being threatened by the Tunisians wielding machetes and Molotov cocktails. They documented the presence of a large, green Tunisian vessel, nicknamed Bin Laden, which threatens to ram Maltese boats.

READ ALSO: War on the high seas: Tunisian plundering Maltese and Gozitan lampuki catches

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