Mullet fish and West Coast rock lobster with an estimated value of R2,500 were seized during the police’s Operation Phakisa, which clamped down on marine-related crimes over the Easter weekend in Port Nolloth, Kleinsee, Groenrivier, Alexander Bay and Hondeklipbaai.
MULLET fish and West Coast rock lobster with an estimated value of R2,500 were seized during the police’s Operation Phakisa, which clamped down on marine-related crimes over the Easter weekend in Port Nolloth, Kleinzee, Groenrivier, Alexander Bay and Hondeklipbaai.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Sam said on Tuesday that members of the public were encouraged to obtain fishing permits in order to engage in recreational fishing and the transport of a prescribed amount of fishing resources including mussels, limpets and oysters.
He indicated that a maximum of four West Coast rock lobsters (crayfish) per permit was allowed.
Sam added that permits were necessary to prevent harvesting and poaching of marine resources, as well as tampering with important infrastructure that could result in substantial economic losses.
“The multi-disciplinary operations were executed under the overall command of Colonel Kholakele Sontsi, the provincial commander for Public Order Police (Pop) and Tactical Response Team (TRT) units, supported by Thulani Mthombeni from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, as well as Errol Swartbooi from the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, assisted by the tactical commander, Captain James Peters, who actively participated in the planned actions,” said Sam.
He added that teams from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Sars Customs unit and SanParks were involved in compliance inspections, vehicle checkpoints, stop and searches and foot patrols along the coastal areas and raids at identified houses for illegal drugs and other commodity smuggling.
“Nine vehicle checkpoints were conducted on the Port Nolloth-Alexander Bay road and the Port Nolloth-Kleinzee road, during which 214 vehicles and 504 persons were stopped and searched.”
Sam stated that during the operation, 110 fishing permits were inspected at harbours, camping sites and launching pads visited by the multi-disciplinary law enforcement officials.
“Fines to the value of R18,000 were issued for the contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act as well as the National Environmental Management Act.
“A number of road traffic offences fines to the value of R5,300 were also issued.
“The multi-disciplinary team also searched and seized dagga and tik to the value of R4,808 and R1,020 of cash that is believed to be the proceeds of crime.”
He added that three suspects were arrested for dealing in drugs.
“They will appear in the Kleinzee and Port Nolloth magistrate’s courts soon.”
The provincial commander of the POP and TRT units, Colonel Kholakele Sontsi, thanked all members and stakeholders involved in the protection of marine resources and the environment.
He also warned against tampering with essential infrastructure, as he indicated that signage and notice boards erected at the coastal sites were removed or vandalised.