'Thousands' of lobsters caught illegally

2012-04-17 11:35
Cape Town - Over 12 000 illegally caught rock lobsters were seized between 2000 and 2009 but a researcher says the real number is probably much higher, it was reported on Tuesday.

According to Stellenbosch University researcher Gregg Brill the real figure is closer to about 25 000 lobsters every year in the Table Mountain National Park, amounting to 250 000 illegally caught lobsters in nine years, The Cape Times reported.

Brill interviewed 28 poachers and compared their numbers with official statistics.

Official statistics were incomplete because rangers failed to report offences, logbooks were lost or destroyed and pages missing.

He found it "alarming" that the number of undersized poached lobsters had increased ten-fold in the last decade, as lobsters were slow growing and took a long time to mature sexually.

According to the report, he said the informal trade was "exacerbated by government's failed attempts to collaborate fairly and with different fisher groups".

Most poached lobsters were seized at Hout Bay, Scarborough and Kommetjie.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  poaching
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