CAPE TOWN, May 1 – The City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Marine Unit managed to disrupt two abalone poaching operations along the city’s coastline, in the process seizing over 1,000 poached abalones.
In a statement, the City’s Wayne Dyason said that on Tuesday at Melkbos on the West Coast, the Auxiliary arm of the Marine Unit, working with the local Melkbos Anti-Poaching Unit and SAPS, spotted a car which they suspected was involved in poaching.
“The driver refused to pull over and after a short chase on the dark coastal road he stopped the car and managed to evade his pursuers by running into the dunes and disappearing into the night.”
A total of 1,314 shucked and 238 unshucked abalones were recovered from the vehicle.
“Later in the day in Gordons Bay, Marine Unit officers received a tip-off that a group of poachers from Kleinmond would be diving for abalone in the area between Steenbras river mouth and Koggelbaai.
“Officers staked out the area and spotted the poachers’ vehicles in the area. A driver was found in one of the vehicles and while interviewing him ten divers exited the water and moved through very difficult terrain,” Dyason said. “The officers gave chase and managed to catch five of the divers. Unfortunately, no abalone was recovered but the five were profiled at SAPS.
“Diving equipment and shucking tools were impounded,” he added. “Although these interventions did not result in any arrests it sends out a message that the City and other agencies involved in the fight against poaching will act against these poachers and not stand back and watch them denude our coastline of abalone and other marine life.”
– African News Agency (ANA)