65 suspected abalone poachers arrested in Cape Town

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  • SANParks says the suspected poachers were arrested on Thursday night.
  • The arrests are due to joint efforts by the police, City of Cape Town law enforcement and Table Mountain National Park. 
  • SANParks says 88 suspected poachers have been arrested to date. 

SANParks says 65 suspected abalone poachers were arrested in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) on Thursday night.

The arrests followed a joint operation between TMNP rangers, the police and City of Cape Town law enforcement, said park manager Frans van Rooyen. 

He added apart from the 65 arrested on Thursday, other joint operations conducted in January and February resulted in the arrests of 23 suspected poachers, bringing the number of arrests to 88 to date. 

According to Van Rooyen, on 14 January 2021, one poaching rubber duck was confiscated and booked in with the police and a case of poaching was opened.

SANParks in a statement on Friday said teams had been conducting daily sea patrols in the marine protected areas of the TMNP to fight against poaching that threatens marine resources.

It added a second arrest was made on 29 January following a successful joint operation conducted by the teams in Kommetjie.

This resulted in five suspects being arrested and detained by the police in Ocean View for being in possession of 18 shucked abalone, one whole abalone, three West Coast rock lobsters, and one West Coast rock lobster tail.

On 3 February four suspects were arrested for being in possession of 730 West Coast rock lobster tails and a ski boat. All confiscated goods were booked in with the police and a case of poaching has been opened.

"We really appreciate the assistance and support we are getting from the City of Cape Town Marine Law Enforcement Unit and SAPS.

"Sharing of resources amongst law enforcement agencies is of paramount importance in tackling poaching, more especially in identified poaching hotspots areas. Working together we can achieve more," said Van Rooyen.

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