Coast KZN

21 Sep 2018

Volunteers take on illegal gillnetters on KZN south coast

Zainul Dawood (Daily News) Picture: Gills nets. (Photo: Ryan Kleingeld)

A group of concerned environmental volunteers have been hard at work removing gill nets from rivers on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

George Snodey and Emil Pirzenthal, both volunteers, said gillnetters were decimating future fish stocks, and it’s not going to be long before the effects are felt.

On Friday Snodey and Pirzenthal received a call from their informer along the Umkomaas river regarding poaching and the placement of gill nets.  Snodey said that between 1am and 5am they had removed 4 nets.

“They were all around 400 to 450 metres in length and were run from bank to bank at a 45-degree angle to cover more distance. We removed about 200 big mullet, most of them a kg or more in weight. Fortunately, 90%were still alive,” Snodey said.

Two kobs that were probably 3kgs, each, a skate which was also still alive was also released. Snodey said that sadly a lot of them were already dead when they arrived.

Gill nets have also been removed from Durban’s Blue Lagoon Umgeni River and uMhlanga Rivers recently.

“From what I have seen, this is a countrywide problem, with dams. rivers etc not escaping the carnage. Anyway, four nets later, with a combined length of about 1.500 meters, was a bad nite for these numbers. Steps are going to have to be made to curb this gill netting,” Snodey said.

A concerned Umkomaas resident Ryan Kleingeld said that about a month ago they found a 50metre in length gill net on the river bank with lots of fish tangled in it.