DAFF clamps down on illicit trade of marine resources

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has reiterated its call to all communities to work together to curb poaching and the illegal trade of Marine Living Resources (MLR).

This follows the arrest of more than 40 suspected poachers of marine living resources.

The suspects were arrested recently by fisheries control officers from the department. Five boats that 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, with 13 suspects arrested for abalone poaching utilising boats in the area.

“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.

“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,’’ the department said.

The department said it has 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 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 for illegal possession of squid and swimming prawns.

Five suspects were also arrested in Durban for illegal possession of 575 East Coast Rock Lobster. A vehicle, a freezer and other items were confiscated during the arrest.

The department urged traders to buy marine resources from legal sellers. – SAnews.gov.za