Suspected poachers arrested

The Marine and Environmental Law Enforcement Unit patrolling.
Officers from the City’s marine and environmental law enforcement unit arrested six suspects on the rocks in a secluded part of the Kalk Bay shoreline yesterday.

Members of the unit were conducting waterborne operations when they received a tip-off.

They followed up and found the suspects had already removed and bagged 238 limpets, 42 periwinkles and 590 black mussels.  

The suspects were taken to the Muizenberg police station and will be charged under the Marine and Living Resources Act.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said: “Marine resources are under threat and our local economy and the environment cannot afford this abuse. It is critical for us to have effective ways of fighting the illegal poaching of sea life and this unit has proven its metal since it was established.”

The specialised unit was established in 2013 and its focus has been marine and coastal law enforcement, including inshore boat patrols.
During the last three months of 2018, the unit made 19 arrests.

Mr Smith said: “Marine life around the world is under threat because of poaching, over fishing and litter dumped into the oceans. While we realise that there are people who make a living from the sea, the wanton pillaging cannot be allowed to go unchecked. If we do there will soon be nothing left for anyone and species will go extinct. Our officers do not just catch those who poach, but also ensure the sustainability of resources and the survival of marine life.