Stop poachers leaving the beaches

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AN open letter to the metro, police, beach manager and MCM:

The week before last Hobie Beach was closed off to all boat launches, other than registered dive boats. Last week I watched as a cream-coloured Land Rover arrogantly drove four rubber ducks onto the far side of Kings Beach.

The ducks, filled with “divers”, crowbars and gear, headed out towards Cape Recife, Schoenies and Sardinia Bay. All in all I watched seven of these rubber ducks go past Hobie Beach and quite blatantly head out.

Every car guard knows the driver of the vehicle and even the police know the driver of the vehicle. The fact that this person is even on the beach, when our beach manager arrogantly stops dogs from being on the beach, is a joke.

The police were called, I even called my local councillor, yet nothing could get our local coppers out of their local KFC.

Korean/Chinese deep sea trawlers were also spotted collecting bags in the sea off Seaview.

At the same time a friend of mine in Gansbaai watched as 20 divers walked off the beach and into the sea on their main beach, dived for the perlemoen and then calmly walked out with their bags in full sight of everyone. The police had been called over a period of nine hours, yet failed to arrive.

At present our coastline is being raped by an ever larger group of perlemoen poachers. To call them poachers is even almost misguided as these guys are organised crime bosses who are involved in everything from perlemoen to cigarette smuggling, drugs, human sex trade and rhino poaching.

The fact that perlemoen is their bread and butter allows them also to focus on other “profit centres” such as the illegal cigarette trade (the largest trade by value in the world) and of course rhino horn.This is organised crime at its best.

The fact is that these guys are beating the metro, police, beach manager, MCM and our pathetically incompetent minister, Tina Joemat-Petterson. Between her and the HR manager we have as chief of police, they just don’t seem to understand that it is not just our oceans that are being bled, but that it is our nation that is been stolen from under our noses and sent to China.

The fact that perlemoen smugglers are caught while they are drying the goods is great (and I do commend Captain Stanley Jarvis and his team), but by then the damage is done. Those poor creatures are already out of the water and cannot be replaced.

They have been taken out of an already fragile ecosystem that is causing fish stocks to be depleted due to lack of food and over-fishing.

The best solution is for these guys to be stopped on the beaches. They must not be allowed to get onto the beaches or onto any slipway in the Bay to launch their craft.

They must not be allowed into the harbour to launch their craft or out of Swartkops River and the river mouth must be closed. They must also not be allowed to launch off any beach near Coega.

Stop them from getting into the water and the root cause is killed. That is not difficult to do and I am sure that any amateur could put concrete bollards on the slipways.

Short of killing these guys, what else is there for us ordinary people, who still care, to do? Me, well this letter will go to contacts of mine at Carte Blanche and I will also pay for concrete bollards to be put at the drive-on entrance to Kings Beach.

In the new year, if these guys are still openly plying their trade, then I would gladly use my own funds to sue the chief of police, Joemat-Petterson and the council for conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering and racketeering.

There is no difference between these guys and corrupt government ministers (yet the poachers’ excuse is that they are too pale to get a job … shame). They are lazy and incompetent, yet good people the country over sit back and do nothing.

It is time that somebody starts to do something, otherwise next time you see a dead rhino, don’t cry as we are all to blame for sitting by and doing nothing.

Ed Gutsche, Port Elizabeth

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