Coast KZN

25 Jun 2020

Chaka’s Rock locals band together as more parrot fish poached from Thompson’s Bay tidal pool

Penny Fourie (North Coast Courier) Picture: Poachers removed the entire school of parrot fish from Chaka's Rock tidal pool on Saturday.

A group of Chaka’s Rock residents have banded together to protect their tidal pool after the poaching of the much-admired school of parrot fish at Chaka’s Rock tidal pool on Saturday afternoon. A Chaka’s Rock resident said she saw four men helping themselves to the almost tame fish, but as a woman living alone with her grandchildren, she was afraid to approach the poachers.She alerted other residents but they did not arrive in time. The entire school has been removed from the pool.

A school of parrot fish were taken from Thompson’s Bay tidal pool in January in the same manner, sparking widespread outrage.

Dolphin Coast conservancy chairman, Di Jones, said people who lived around the Chaka’s Rock tidal pool had formed a WhatsApp group and were determined to confront anyone seen poaching. The incident has again highlighted the plight of Ballito’s tidal pools, under attack from poachers operating indiscriminately along the Dolphin Coast in the absence of effective policing.

While the pools dotted along the coast serve as sanctuaries for numerous sea creatures, illegal poaching and fishing have increased substantially following the removal of Ezemvelo staff from the coast in 2016. KDM marine safety manager Steve Honeysett previously told the Courier that Thompson’s Bay, Chaka’s Rock and Salt Rock’s tidal pools were marine protected areas.

“Anyone caught poaching or collecting marine life from these tidal pools will be prosecuted,” he said.