In our efforts to ensure that the endangered marine life is protected, a multidisciplinary team set up to clamp down abalone poachers along the Eastern Cape coastline is yielding positive results
Excellent collaboration between SAPS Humansdorp and Gqeberha K9 units, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Enviromental Affairs as well as a private security company resulted in the arrest of eight suspects and the confiscation of abalone and diving equipment to the value of R350 000-00 on Wednesday, 1 March 2023.
It is alleged that on 28 February 2023, the team received and acted on information of illegal poaching.
Way-lay duties were held on the R330 between Humansdorp and St Francis Bay. At about 07:00 on 01 March 2023, the suspects were spotted hiding in the bushes. As police swooped in on them, they started running. The 8 suspects were arrested while the others got away. On searching the bushes, 2108 units of abalone as well as diving equipment and gear were confiscated.
The suspects aged between 28-41 years old were detained on charges relating to the contravention of the Marine Living Resource Act, 19 of 1998 Regulation 36 sub sect 1 – illegal possession of abalone.
They are appearing in the Humansdorp magistrate court on 3 March 2023.
The District Commissioner for the Sarah Baartman district, Maj Gen Zolani Xawuka commended the team for their resilient efforts in clamping down on illegal poachers. ‘Criminality knows no boundaries and our police officers will be closely monitoring the coastline to ensure that those using the sea as a mode of transport or fishing within the Humansdorp area, is free from criminal or unlawful activities,’ warned Maj gen Xuwaka.