SANParks has announced the arrest of 65 suspected abalone poachers in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) during the night of Thursday, 11 March 2021.
According to TMNP Park Manager, Frans van Rooyen, all the arrests were made as a result of yet another joint operation between TMNP Rangers, South African Police Services and the City of Cape Town law enforcement units.
He said apart from the 65 successfully arrested on Thursday, 11 March 2021, other joint operations conducted in January and February resulted in the arrests of 23 suspected poachers bringing the number of arrests to 88 to date.
According to van Rooyen, on Thursday, 14 January 2021, one poaching rubber duck was confiscated and booked in with the South African Police Services and a case of poaching was opened.
The teams have been conducting daily sea patrols in the Marine Protected Areas of TMNP to fight against poaching that threatens the Marine Resources.
A second arrest was made on Friday, 29 January following a successful joint operation conducted by the teams in Kommetjie.
This resulted in five suspects being arrested and detained by the South African Police Services (SAPS) in Ocean View for being in possession of eighteen shucked abalone, one whole state abalone, Three West Coast Rock Lobster, and one West Coast Rock Lobster tail.
A third arrest was made on Wednesday, 3 February and four suspects were arrested for being in possession of 730 West Coast Rock Lobster tails and one Fishing Ski boat.
All confiscated goods were booked in with the South African Police Service and a case of poaching has been opened.
“We really appreciate the assistance and support we are getting from the City of Cape Town Marine Law Enforcement Unit and SAPS.
Sharing of resources amongst law enforcement agencies is of paramount importance in tackling poaching more especially in identified poaching hotspots areas. Working together we can achieve more,” concluded van Rooyen.