SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES URGED TO HELP GOVT CURB POACHING OF MARINE RESOURCES

PRETORIA-- The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has again called on local communities to work work with it to curb poaching and the illegal trade of marine living resources (MLR).

The call Wednesday followed the arrest of more than 40 suspected poachers of marine living resources recently by fisheries control officers from the department. Five boats which had been used in alleged poaching activities were confiscated as efforts intensified in curbing illegal harvesting of MLR.

The department said the five confiscated boats had been linked to poaching in the Gansbaai area uin Western Cape Province, about 160 kilometres southeast of Cape Town, with 13 suspects arrested for abalone poaching.

The latest confiscation took place on Saturday, 26 May 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," the department said in a statement.

No arrest has 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."

The department said it had resolved not only to deal with illegal harvesters of the marine resources, but also to deal with illegal buyers.

Meanwhile, a suspect was arrested in Kalkbay harbour near Cape Town for a case related to smuggling of West Coast rock lobster. The case was opened in Muizenburg police station.

Another case involves the arrest of a suspect involved in illegal buying. The suspect was arrested in China Mall in East London in Eastern Cape Province for illegal possession of squid and swimming prawns.

Five suspects were also arrested in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province for illegal possession of 575 East Coast rock lobsters. A vehicle, a freezer and other items were confiscated during the arrest.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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