A Frenchman was arrested after stealing 41 kilograms of pebbles from Lampiano beach in Sardinia. He risks a fine of up to 3,000 euros. Sardinia’s white sand beaches are world-famous, but taking, keeping or selling sand, pebbles, stones or shells from the coast or sea is punishable by law.
The man was intercepted while trying to board a ferry from Porto Torres to the French port of Nice. Police found 41 kg of rocks in the French man’s trunk.
This is not the first time. In 2019, a French couple was arrested in possession of 14 plastic bottles filled with sand, with a total weight of 40 kg. It may seem like a minor problem, but stealing sand and pebbles from beaches can have serious environmental consequences. After the arrest in 2019, Sardinian ecologist Pierluigi Cocco explained this to the BBC.
“Only a few tourists who visit Sardinia spend their time digging up to 40 kg of sand each,” he said. “But if you multiply half that amount by 5 percent of the million tourists per year, that would contribute significantly to the reduction of beaches within a few years.”
In 2021, the Sardinian Robbery and Pillage (Sardegna Rubata e Depredata) action group estimated that at least six tons of sand had been taken from the island’s beaches by mid-August. “Most people have no real motive,” a Sardinian activist who was robbed wrote on his Facebook page.
“Perhaps to make friends and family jealous, or to revive holiday feelings in their living room, or even to decorate an aquarium. (Tourists may) try desperately, but unfortunately in vain, to take a piece of it with their hands, instead of keeping the memories in their memories and hearts,” the activist concludes. .
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