Port Elizabeth duo bust for Alikreukel poaching
Two Port Elizabeth men are expected in Court soon after they were bust for Alikreukel poaching on Monday morning.
“Dennis Mostert, from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) gave me a call at 11:45am and told me there were suspects loading Alikreukel into their vehicle in front of Beachview,” said Lloyd Edwards, who owns Raggy Charters in the Bay.
“I drove to the scene and kept the suspects under surveillance. They then left the area and travelled to Greenbushes.”
Edwards kept up with the suspects and on the Old Cape Road at Greenbushes, contacted the DAFF inspectors and members of the Abalone Task Team, who had now caught up to him.
“They pulled the suspects off the road and searched the vehicle. They found 176 Alikreukel, of which 132 were under the legal size of 63mm,” Edwards said.
After charging the suspects, the Alikreukel were returned to him in Seaview, still alive, so that he puts them back into the sea at the evening low tide.
He said that this is the forth Alikreukel arrest members from the Seaview Community have assisted with in the last year.
“The problem is getting a bit out of hand and escalating. The biggest problem is that the inspectors are so far from Seaview and take a while to get here. That is why we have been carrying out citizen arrests.
“It is quite sad to think that, for generations, people have been harvesting these animals sustainably. The law allows an individual with a permit to take five animals per day, as long as they are more than 63mm in diameter,” Edwards described.
“This was one of the shellfish harvested by early hominids, who lived along the Eastern Cape Coast 60 000 years ago. It was thought that the consumption of such a high protein diet by our early ancestors is what led to us developing a much larger brain.
“Let us all put these large brains together and work out solutions to protect or marine life. Getting the local community involved and empowering them is surely a step in the right direction.”
Image: BUSTED! Two Port Elizabeth men are expected in Court soon after they were bust for Alikreukel poaching on Monday morning. Photo by Lloyd Edwards.
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