Fisheries control officers from the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries (DAFF) today said they have arrested more than 40 suspected poachers of marine living resources.
Spokesperson Carol Moses said in the past three weeks they confiscated five boats that had been used in alleged poaching activities as efforts intensified in curbing illegal harvesting of marine living resources. The boats had been linked to poaching in the Gansbaai area, and 13 suspects were arrested for abalone poaching utilising boats in that area.
The latest confiscation took place on Saturday, when a boat of suspected poachers was pursued by law enforcement officers.
“The suspects reportedly jumped from the boat after which a search immediately ensued. No arrests have been made. The boat was found to have more than 2 400 abalone units, 33 diving cylinders and other diving equipment which were confiscated. Further investigations are underway,” said Moses.
“It is DAFF’s resolve not only to deal with illegal harvesters of the Marine Living Resources but also to deal with the illegal buyers.”
In separate a incident, a suspect was arrested in Kalk Bay harbour for a case related to smuggling of West Coast rock lobster which was opened in Muizenburg Police Station, Cape Town.
In another matter an illegal buyer was arrested in China Mall in East London for illegal possession of squid and swimming prawns.
Five suspects were arrested in Durban for illegal possession of 575 East Coast rock lobster wherein a vehicle, a freezer and other items were confiscated.
“DAFF urges traders to buy marine living resources from legal sellers and we call upon all communities to work together in curbing poaching and illegal trade of marine living resources,” said Moses.
– African News Agency (ANA)