'Abalone poaching linked to organised crime'
The department highlighted abalone poaching as one of the biggest problems facing the industry.
This has been linked to organised crime rings, most of which operates across borders and seas.
Representatives of more than thirty countries around the globe have gathered in Cape Town to tackle crimes facing the fishing industry across the world.
The International Symposium of FishCRIME will run over the next two days.
Stop Illegal Fishing is an organisation committed to ending the devastating impacts of illegal fishing across Africa.
The group's Sandy Davids explains the importance of the symposium.
"The main goal is to crack crime and to gather people from around the world to find solutions. At the moment, the criminals who are driving illegal fishing are also illegally trafficking people, they are involved in money laundering and they are avoiding taxes."