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THE fight to protect our coastline and waterways from poachers continues, which is evident in the recent haul pulled in by a newly formed anti-poaching initiative in Richards Bay.
The task team consists of Meerensee CPF, Richards Bay SAPS and DAFF (Department of Forestry and Fisheries), the latter having taken over as monitors of KZN’s coastline from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
During a patrol of the Mzingazi canal, 1.2km of gill nets were recovered, as well as a poacher’s boat.
‘While patrolling the Mzingazi canal at about 10pm on Thursday night, one of our patrollers spotted the poacher’s boat,’ said Meerensee CPF patroller Corrie Pretorius.
‘We responded and found the first net stretched across the canal.
A poacher’s boat and 1.2km of gill nets were confiscated at Mzingazi canal
‘After searching the area, we found a second net on the other side of the canal near the silos.’
The team managed to free some of the fish that had been caught, but most were dead.
SAPS Waterwing responded and the boat and nets were confiscated. No suspects were found.
After a formal meeting between the CPF, Richards Bay SAPS Station Commander and DAFF, all parties agreed to drive this anti-poaching initiative and provide full support.
With only two weekly rotations of two members, DAFF is under-resourced in our region and it is the task team’s hope that, through this anti-poaching initiative, DAFF can be brought on board on a permanent basis.