At the deep end of the lockdown

While poaching of abalone and other seafood along SA’s coastline has subsided, experts warn that the suspension of certain fishing controls on the high seas during lockdown will compromise the protection of marine species into the future, writes Claire Keeton

26 April 2020 - 00:00 By Claire Keeton

When the sea is a calm blue in False Bay, dozens of poachers go out diving for abalone. At least they did, before lockdown. But under lockdown, poaching numbers on the Western Cape’s coastline have dropped from hundreds to about a dozen a day, says Pierre de Villiers, CapeNature senior manager: marine and coasts.

“Prior to lockdown, we had engagements with poachers every day,” he says. CapeNature works with an Operation Phakisa anti-poaching team, from the west coast to Plettenberg Bay...

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