Three arrested over perlemoen poaching

2011-07-27 11:19

Three suspected perlemoen poachers were arrested and had their boat confiscated off Robben Island this morning, the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said.

Two other suspects escaped, said Fisheries spokesperson Heindrich Wyngaard.

Officials from the Monitoring, Compliance and Surveillance unit of the Fisheries branch spotted an inflatable boat at 3am off Robben Island.

The five suspects were diving nearby. No perlemoen (abalone) was found while officials searched the boat.

Police divers were called in to search for perlemoen which may have been poached but then left in the water by the suspects, as well as the two divers who remained in the water.

Wyngaard said the search was continuing.

This follows last week’s Operation Black Leaves in Gansbaai, which saw 21 suspected poachers arrested by police, Hawks, and Fisheries officials in a joint operation.

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