Call for new abalone poaching crackdown

2012-04-26 18:15
Cape Town - The DA on Thursday called for a new crackdown on abalone (perlemoen) poaching.

"Re-institute Operation Trident with appropriate institutional support, such as the green courts," Democratic Alliance fisheries spokesperson, Pieter van Dalen, said in a statement.

Operation Trident, launched in 2004, was an initiative that focused on smashing the syndicates and gangs involved in the poaching of abalone in the Overberg region of the Western Cape.

It involved the deployment of SA Police Service and conservation officials, who worked to secure high prosecution rates and jail times, through special environmental or "green courts" for those caught poaching.

"At least part of the battle against abalone poaching is to convince the illicit industry that the costs are simply too high," Van Dalen said.

Brink of extinction

The "binge" of illegal harvesting by syndicates had brought South Africa’s stock of wild abalone to the brink of extinction.

Van Dalen said there was a lack of a "credible deterrence mechanism" to stop the poaching, and suggested the department of fisheries was not interested in stopping it.

"The department of fisheries relies on the sale of confiscated abalone to fund a substantial part of its operational budget. It thus has a financial interest to ensure that large scale poaching continues so that the product can then be confiscated and sold at a profit," he said.

The department said it would respond to the DA statement and related questions later on Thursday.

Uncontrolled poaching

Van Dalen said growing institutional failures and the "collapse of governance" at the department was a direct contributing factor to uncontrolled poaching.

"South African waters remain completely open to vast and unchecked illegal, unregulated and unplanned fishing, as our R1bn fleet of patrol vessels continue to lie idle in Simon's Town harbour."

He also called for the creation of "incentive structures to secure community policing" to overcome the gangs involved in the poaching.

"This is obviously the most challenging aspect of eradicating abalone poaching."

Until these steps were implemented, however, the country's marine resources would continue to be stripped.

"The current apathy is tantamount to condoning poaching," he said.
Read more on:    da  |  poaching

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.