Published: Wed, August 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

French couple face jail for taking sand from a beach in Sardinia

French couple face jail for taking sand from a beach in Sardinia

Under new rules in Venice, a couple of German backpackers were asked to leave and fined 950 euros, or more than $1,000, for making coffee on a portable cooker at the foot of the Rialto Bridge, the BBC reported in July.

The duo were stopped as they prepared to board a ferry that sails to Toulon, France.

"Sandy beaches are one of the main attractions of Sardinia".

"There are two threats: one is due to erosion, which is partly natural and partly induced by the increasing sea level due to climate change; the second is sand stealing by tourists", he said. While taking sand from the beach may not sound like a big crime, scientists are against the practice. Over the past 10 years, airport authorities have confiscated more than 10 tonnes of stolen sand, according to The Local Italy.

A law that went into effect in August 2017 made it illegal to take sand, pebbles or seashells from Sardinian beaches, the BBC reported at the time, noting that some of the sand was being sold on eBay. "We have to explain to young people that we must fight such behaviour".

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This is not the first time tourists were caught red-handed trying to steal sand from beaches.

Last year a 40-year-old Italian living in the United Kingdom faced a €1,000 fine after the police caught him with a bottle of sand from Sardina's Gallura beach, The Guardian reported.

The thieves claimed they have been unaware it was a criminal offense to take away the white sand, regardless of a lot of indicators in a number of languages warning in opposition to doing so.

A Facebook page, "Sardegna Rubata e Depredata" - "Sardinia, robbed and plundered" - which was set up by a group of security officials from the island's airports, campaigns against the depletion of Sardinia's beaches.

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