Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crayfish Poaching

There has been allot of publicity lately of all the proposed MPA's that will close off huge areas to the public. These areas in many instances will make Spearfishing almost impossible, take the proposed area from Sheffield beach to Zinkwazi. If they pass this the only place we will be allowed to dive is Tiffanies and south towards Westbrook and La Mercy.

So Why bring all of this up again? Well when guys get busted for poaching in the very area the greenies are having a heart attack over well that can not be good for our sport or our cause.

I dont think there is any one who argue good conservation ...but when they give us a total ban. Every one will loose out.

Here is the article posted in the Daily News.

Massive fine for poacher
23 August 2009, 09:06
By Fred Kockott
Amid increased crayfish poaching along KwaZulu-Natal's coastline, KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife officials have welcomed the slapping of a R100 000 fine or two years imprisonment on Howick crayfish poacher Paul Wilfred Ferguson.
Bust for catching 47 crayfish at Hyde Park beach at Nonoti on the North Coast, nine of which were undersized, Ferguson was convicted in the Stanger Magistrate's Court on Friday.
He was convicted for not having a licence, exceeding the daily bag limit of eight crayfish and being in possession of undersized crayfish.
R85 000 of his sentence was suspended for five years on condition he was not convicted of the same offence, and Ferguson walked free after paying R15 000.
Welcoming Ferguson's conviction, Ezemvelo spokesman Wayne Munger said there had been a noticeable increase in the number of crayfish offences that KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife staff were encountering.
He said this was due to high prices paid for crayfish on the black market.
"Hopefully the sentence that Ferguson got will serve as a wake-up call to others who are catching crays illegally," said Munger.
Munger said Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife conducted regular patrols along the 620km stretch of coastline from Port Edward to Kosi Bay, and prosecuted as many as 1 200 offenders of the Marine Living Resources Act every year, 20 percent of which are crayfish related. 
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officer Selvan Pillay said he had been working on a marine patrol when he and his team noticed Ferguson diving at Hyde Park beach on Thursday.
"We concealed ourselves and watched what he was doing. He left the water with a bag and hid it in the bushes," said Pillay.
"When we confronted him, he was really shocked, but there was nothing he could do," said Pillay. 
"We found 47 crayfish in his bag, nine of which undersized. He acknowledged that he had broken the law."
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Sunday Tribune on August 23, 2009

So expect that "Parky" to be hiding in the bushes!! I know some things were more or less accepted in the past by the general diving community. I just think its time we started looking out for ourselves and kept our noses clean.
Or we could be in for a big shock!!



morne said...

its about time, the fact that everybody turns a blind eye or plain just looking the other way is starting to catch up. we need to set a example or this sport that we love so much will be taken away. We the speoro's are suppose to be the CONCERVATIONIST not the THIEVES. We need to educate and spear with entegrity so that we can protect and concervate our reefs for the future.
Stop blaming the long liners when our own reefs on our door steps are being raped by greedy fly by night average joe speoro's trying to make a quick buck.

Eckart said...

I just want to encourage all of you spearos to stand together. we in the cape lost a beautiful place to dive (Cape Point) from boats, you can dive but only 1km out to see. the problem with this is that it isn't cost wise to go out because you can't een get some bottom fish if you can't find the tail! and this was done because of poaching... so after a few years you have to ask: isit working? well they caught 8 poachers there the other day so it's clearly not stopping the poachers. because it's a declared MPA I have a theory that it gets patrolled less than other areas and because we can't dive in the area they have removed the "eyes" in the area.

I think MPA's are good but they should be re0-evaluated every two years. a better idea would be just to close a certain setion of the coast off to all fishing for 1-2 years then open it again and close another section and let it move on a rotational basis...
I'm no expert but what is being done currently is not working... we need to be creative and the national parks board needs to work with the fisherman/spearo's/crayfish divers and rid our coastline of paohing... bring back the marines!!!