We have recently shared a view of poaching activity in the Kogelberg Biosphere for the last two months. Unfortunately the poaching trend is on a steady increase and this is not only a concern in the biosphere, but nationally, the South African coastline is turning into outposts of organised crime.
Often public expresses their frustration and lack of trust that this ongoing crime saga can be prevented and stopped.
The response to this is, yes it can, but it’s not a fight any one of us are able to win alone.
We, Marine Anti-Poaching Unit (MAPU) measure our successes against the amount of time we are either able to prevent the poachers from making their way to the ocean or preventing them from getting to their catch, thus putting pressure on their demand and supply chain.
On Sunday, 3 February 2019, we had another success. Public reported that they believe poachers were hiding their catch on an empty erf in the Pearly Beach area. Due to our volunteers not being available in close fasinity of the incident, we reached out to Department of Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry (DAFF) and South African Police Service (SAPS) Gansbaai for assistance.
Within 20 minutes SAPS arrived at the scene and bags of abalone were found. As the SAPS team was collecting the bags, the poachers stopped at the scene and immediately raced away. At the same time DAFF arrived and supported SAPS with collecting all the abalone hidden on the site, a total of four bags and 218 shucked abalone.
I know you are reading this, thinking, well they still got away, but it was possible due to fast response and support from DAFF and SAPS that the criminals got away with nothing to take to their supplier and the knowledge that poaching does not always pay.
This was a success and if we can get this co-operation in all areas from the public and all organisations fighting for the conservation of our marine life, we will see a difference.
All of us play a part in this battle and we need more volunteers to represent MAPU across South Africa to increase our success rate and specifically our ability to prevent the destruction of marine life.
If you are interested in being a volunteer please forward your information to firstname.lastname@example.org