|Abalone (aka Perlemoen) - Image by: Terry Shean|
Sourced from: timeslive.co.za
South Africa had suffered an R80 billion loss in the 2010/11 financial year as a direct result of environmental crimes that included the illegal trade in abalone (perlemoen), ivory and rhino horn.
Incidentally – The rhino poaching figures for 2012 now stand at a staggering 135! (Source)
According to an article on News24, the rhino, which is one of the Big Five animals, could be wiped out from South Africa’s wildlife parks by the year 2015 if they continue to be poached at the current rate.
It is obvious that the government has failed miserably to stop these illegal trades. The rhino killings have continued unabated and so has the poaching of selfish. I’m 100 percent convinced that those age-old buddies of the ANC – that scourge from the East, has everything to do with this! – (see older posting: World Rhino Day 2011)
The commercial harvesting of wild abalone (perlemoen)
South Africa reached a point a few years ago where the commercial harvesting of wild abalone could no longer be justified because the stock had declined to such an extent that the resource was threatened with extinction. The country then suspended abalone fishing in its waters, effective from February 2008. (Source)
A main cause for the decline, however, has been rampant poaching over the years, as the shellfish is highly coveted and fetches high prices especially in the Far East – the same buggers who also have an irresistible and unexplainable craving for rhino horn!
A few days ago a man was found with so much perlemoen in his possession, that it was estimated to have a street value of R3.6 million!!! (News report here).
Die Burger reported today how the inhabitants of Hangberg in Houtbay (Houtbaai) got themselves embroiled in a street-battle with the police, after the police conducted an operation in the area to combat the illegal smuggling of perlemoen.
The police and other pertinent officials were apparently tracking suspected poachers near Robben Island in the early hours of the morning. Five boats with approximately 50 divers were observed. The suspects where then followed all the way to their homes in Rhode Vos Avenue.
According to Warrant Officer November Filander, provincial police-spokesperson, a special taskforce searched the area for suspects. When they reached Hangberg they were pelted with stones. Several policemen and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, were injured during the attack. Some of their vehicles were also damaged.
Hangberg residents alleged that the police intruded their homes and that they were treated unnecessarily harshly. They also claimed that the police fired shots at them.
Here’s a video of the spectacle: