Six suspected poachers were arrested on the Kalk Bay shoreline on Thursday with a haul of limpets, periwinkles and mussels.
They were among several alleged poachers arrested so far this year by Cape Town’s marine and environmental law enforcement unit, which for the past five years has targeted poaching along Cape Town’s 300km coastline.
The Kalk Bay suspects had bagged 238 limpets, 42 periwinkles and 590 black mussels, and would be charged under the Marine and Living Resources Act, said JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security.
On Monday, officers from the marine unit arrested a 34-year-old man from Manenberg who had allegedly poached 925 periwinkles in Kalk Bay, and on Sunday auxiliary officers from the unit chased a man guarding 259 shucked abalone at Slabbers Klippe beach in the Melkbos area. He escaped.
During the last quarter of 2018, said Smith, the unit made 19 arrests and impounded 4,934 abalone, alikreukels, mussels, periwinkles, snails and limpets.
“Marine life around the world is under threat because of poaching, overfishing and litter dumped into the oceans,” he said. “While we realise that there are people who make a living from the sea, the wanton pillaging cannot be allowed to go unchecked. If we allow it, there will soon be nothing left and species will go extinct.