Over 40 suspected abalone poachers arrested in WC

The Fisheries control officers also confiscated five boats linked to poaching in the Gansbaai area, where 13 suspects were arrested.

FILE: Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department has arrested more than 40 suspected poachers over the past three weeks.

The Fisheries control officers also confiscated five boats linked to poaching in the Gansbaai area, where 13 suspects were arrested.

On Saturday, a boat of suspected poachers was pursued by law enforcement officers. The suspects jumped out of the boat and left behind more than 2,400 abalone units, 33 diving cylinders and other diving equipment.

Fisheries spokesperson Carol Moses says they are intensifying efforts to curb poaching and the illegal trade in marine resources.

“Abalone is targeted because it has a high commercial value and it’s very much in demand, globally. South Africa is one of the few countries that still has wild abalone and that’s a huge challenge.”

Moses says they've identified hot spot areas to poach are Hermanus and Gansbaai.

“We’ve identified certain hotspots that may be frequented by poachers during this particular time.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)