IN the front page report featured in The Herald of February 13 (“Crack unit to fight perlemoen poaching”) it was claimed that a new “crack anti-poaching unit” would rid Port Elizabeth of abalone poachers. I was ecstatic when I read this report and really had high hopes for this “unit”.
Sadly, it turned out to be a lot of hot air. In the three months since this report was published, abalone poaching in Port Elizabeth has increased 10 fold!
I travel up and down Marine Drive daily and see abalone poaching activities every time conditions are conducive, that is a flat sea and clear water. It is always the same groups of poachers operating in the same areas, day after day after day.
All this happens in broad daylight. I therefore can only presume that there is no such “unit”.
I certainly have not seen any progress to curb poaching in Port Elizabeth. Abalone poachers are raping our precious coast daily, with Marine Drive being the “hotspot”.
They show no respect for nature, nor the law and simply do as they please. Local Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) officials are completely clueless, demotivated, outnumbered or allegedly corrupt, and have thrown in the towel long ago.
This, of course, is completely unacceptable and should be addressed urgently. By the rate that abalone are poached in Port Elizabeth, it will soon become extinct along our coast.
Surely we cannot allow this to happen. It is time the powers that be catch a wake-up call and come up with solutions to stop this scourge.
Name supplied, Port Elizabeth