WWF: 95% of abalone stocks from SA being fished illegally

The World Wildlife Fund says that despite arrests of poachers and the confiscation of illegal abalone, the problem seems to be on the rise.

A shipment of abalone that was confiscated by police. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService.

CAPE TOWN - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that around 95% of abalone stocks from South Africa’s waters are being fished illegally.

In recent days authorities have scored a series of successes in the war on abalone poaching.

On Monday, the Hawks raided several homes across Cape Town, arresting 10 suspects as part of an ongoing investigation.

Almost R4 million worth of perlemoen was seized.

Last week, abalone worth over R30 million was confiscated in the Paarden Island area.

But despite these successes, the WWF's Marcus Burgener says the problem is showing no signs of decreasing.

“Every day one reads about seizures, arrests and confiscations and it doesn’t seem to make a dent. The pattern continues, poaching has increased since 2008.”

Burgener adds that abalone numbers are at serious risk.

“Our estimates for abalone at the moment are that 3,000 or more tons are coming out of the water illegally. The catch allowable quota for abalone for the past three years has been under 100 tons.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)