Multidisciplinary operation aims to ensure economic security of maritime zones
VARIOUS fines were issued for illegal marine activity during compliance checks that were conducted in Northern Cape coastal areas – including Port Nolloth, Kleinsee, Hondeklipbaai, Alexander Bay, the Bontekoe mining area and Groenrivier.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Mashay Gamieldien said on Tuesday that the operation was carried out to ensure the economic security of the maritime zones.
“The operations also focused on the current Covid-19 mitigation efforts to secure the sea borderline and to ensure the safety and security of South African citizens,” said Gamieldien.
An integrated, multidisciplinary approach was followed and various role-players were involved, namely the Port Nolloth SAPS, the Springbok Vehicle Crime Investigation unit, Upington Water Wing, Provincial Border Police, Kimberley Airwing, Provincial Operational Response, Namakwa Crime Intelligence, Provincial Operational Coordination, Provincial Corporate Communication, Sars Customs, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (Compliance, Biodiversity, Ocean and Coastal Enforcement) and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
Gamieldien said that activities executed during the operations included the searching of vehicles, stop-and-searches and foot patrols.
“Compliance inspections were conducted at local businesses and mines, focusing on illegal harvesting and recreational fishing.
“Visits were made to the harbour, ports, yacht clubs, marinas, launching sites and docking bays.”
Gamieldien added that eight fines, amounting to R6,750, were issued for road traffic offences.
“Two fines amounting to R1,000 were issued for contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act 18/1998 during an inspection at a location that did not possess a valid permit.
“Another fine of R500 and a warning was issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries for possession of Steenbras fish without a permit or invoice.”
Gamieldien stated that Sars Customs confiscated products that had expired, amounting to R3,420.
“An enquiry was opened after seven bags of bearing gravel were confiscated.”
The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the Northern Cape, Major-General Phiwe Mnguni, applauded the collective effort by sister departments to address and combat crime – specifically concentrating on illegal activities in relation to marine-related crimes and illicit sand mining in the coastal area – ahead of the festive season.