R30m poached abalone confiscated in W Cape

Joint efforts between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), SAPS and custom officials have led to the confiscation of R30 million worth of poached abalone in the Western Cape.

The department said that the recent two raids in the Milnerton and Montague Gardens areas yielded a combined total of 27 182 dried, as well as 13 837 wet abalone.

Further investigations led to the discovery of a 13 meter container at the Cape Town harbour that had already been cleared for export to the Far East. Upon opening of the container on 10 February 2017, the container was found to contain pellets with sealed boxes containing illegally harvested abalone.

The whole consignment has been seized in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 pending further investigations and court proceedings. The confiscated abalone was weighed and found to be 9.4 tons of wet abalone and 3.3 tons of dried abalone, the department said.

The department said the latest successes to the joint Law Enforcement Agencies against organized crime are positive results of the efforts of partners involved in the enhanced and coordinated enforcement project.

The Law Enforcement Agencies are all under instruction from the Cabinet to operate integrated under the Marine Protection Services and Governance (MPG) lab of Operation Phakisa.

The department takes the abuse of marine resources and abalone in particular in a very serious light and will leave no stone unturned in its pursuit.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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