Coast KZN

14 May 2020

Richards Bay fish poachers hooked by local anti-poaching group

Conelia Harry (Zululand Observer) Picture: Two suspects were found in possession of more than a thousand mussels

QUICK intervention by North Coast Anti-Poaching (NCAP) on Sunday afternoon saw the recovery of 1.2 km of recently deployed gill nets and more than 100 fish safely released back into the water in the Richards Bay harbour area. Following up on information, NCAP members continued their patrols in the vicinity and found a small boat with three men on board in the protected marine area. A significant number of fish could be seen on the deck.

The haul of fish killed in the gill nets

The boat owner was ordered to dock and the SAPS Water Wing was called to the scene and the men arrested. The main charge was the contravention of the lockdown regulations and charges relating to the Marine Living Resources Act.

In the early hours of Friday morning, NCAP members also responded to a call and about 1.6km gill nets and 250 fish were recovered. Earlier in the week, despite public roads being blocked and lockdown regulations in full force, two fish poachers navigated their way onto Pelican Island in Richards Bay last Tuesday night, but were intercepted by NCAP. The suspects, a male and female, were found in possession of 1 030 mussels, of which 270 were undersized.They were handed over to the police.

NCAP thanked SAPS Water Wing for their quick responses and the public for their support and numerous tip-offs.