Traffickers had created a "corridor" to supply protected species to fish fans across Italy.

Italian police announced today they have captured more than 17.000 tropical fish and 246 protected corals in more than 250 operations over the past five years.

Traffickers had created a real “corridor” to clandestinely supply growers, importers, retailers and manufacturers of aquariums scattered throughout the country. The operation – which involved 8 Italian regions – led to the administrative reporting of 50 companies operating in the aquarium sector. From 2017 to today, World Oceans Day, the Fiumicino Group has carried out almost 20,000 checks, with the seizure, in addition to the aforementioned specimens, of 143 specimens (20 Queen Conchiglia, 6 terrestrial turtles, 1 tusk of hippopotamus, 12 Paroaria Coronata, 1 embalmed Dwarf Caiman, 100 python skin clothing accessories, 1 Regius python skin and 2 live Peregrine Falcons). They have brought criminal charges against 15 people and administrative reports on 27.

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