Fight against poaching intensified

The City’s Marine Law Enforcement Unit launched two 5.9-meter rubber boats to boost their fight against illegal poaching.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith joined officials at the launch on Wednesday September 18, at the at the Oceana Power Boat Club in Green Point.

“It was only five years ago when the establishment was officially up and running. Poaching and over-fishing of marine resources became a concern (and) the department of environmental affairs warned the City that if no action is taken against the matter, in a few years’ time there will be nothing and the process of the reproduction of sea life wont take place.”

He said that most of the coastline formed part of the protected marine zones and anyone who violated the law should expect serious legal action to be taken against them.

In Cape Town the Marine Protected Area covers 1000km2 of the sea and coastline around the Cape Peninsula from Mouille Point to Muizenberg.

Mr Smith said all three high performance boats would cost the City R7 million, with the two new ones being lighter and stealthier.

Marine law enforcement officer Vincent Henry, said their strategy was to work with other agencies involved in the fight against poaching and over-fishing in South Africa.

Mr Henry added that there had been a “marginal improvement” in the situation. However, he said, the problem is enormous and would take some time to clear everything out.

“What they deem a success is when we patrol and disrupt poachers.Our visibility in the water helps a lot. The culprits are always the same people who have been caught in previous times,” he said.