Coast KZN

09 Nov 2016

Wildlife officers confiscate 7 gill nets

(Northglen News)


Some of the nets measured as wide as 250 metres in length said Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officer.

A total of seven gillnets were confiscated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officers over the space of a few days. The nets, or ‘Curtains of Death’, as they have often been termed, were found in the eMdloti Lagoon, some measuring as wide as 250 metres in length. Wildlife officers also found a makeshift boat used by the poachers.

Basil Pather, conservation manager at Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve, said they conducted a patrol of the Beachwood District in conjunction with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

One of the nets confiscated  spanned the length of one of the tributaries of the river.

“Normally we work close to the shore and try and remove nets, however, in the last week we’ve been using a boat to get around and remove the nets. The poachers set the gillnets at low tide and wait for the water levels to rise again.

“A fish swims into a net and passes only part way through the mesh. When it struggles to free itself, the twine slips behind the gill cover and prevents escape. One of the boats we confiscated was made up of a metal drum which had been covered in marquee material,” he said.

According to Pather the poachers target tilapia, a freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds and rivers. A bucket load of the fish sell for around R1 800 (One bucket holds up to 50 fish).