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Bust boats chokka-block with squid

25 May 2016 - 09:13 By Mike Loewe

Three foreign-owned fishing trawlers have allegedly looted 600t of squid valued at R70-million as well as tons of fish from Eastern Cape waters. The discovery was made at the East London port on Monday when the government sent fisheries' vessels - backed by naval muscle - to capture two new industrial-strength Chinese fishing vessels - the Fu Yuan Yu 7880 and Fu Yang Yu 7881 - and a rusty Indonesian fishing vessel Run Da 617.Dino Moodley, chairman of the SA Squid Management Industrial Association, valued the catch at R70-million "because there is such a shortage"."Our season opens only on July 1. We are trying to protect our resources and these foreign vessels use [illegal] automated squid jiggers that are quick."Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana said the "capture" of the vessels was a sign of more action to come. He said the country would no longer tolerate the plunder of its marine resources.The three ships arrived under escort of the department and the navy and berthed soon after 8pm on Sunday...

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