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Daff nets three vessels and four suspects

Three rubberducks and small quantities of abalone and West Coast Rock Lobster were confiscated during a Daff operation along the coastline off Vermont last week.

Captain Fadila September, spokesperson for the Hermanus Police, confirmed that four suspects were also arrested during the operation.

Marine Anti-Poaching Unit (Mapu) reports that they received a tip-off alerting them to possible poaching activities with rubberducks near Vermont at approximately 08:12 on Wednesday 25 October.

“The complaint was reported to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff) control room in Hermanus. They in their turn reported it to the Daff patrol vessel which made its way from Dyer Island, Gansbaai, towards Vermont,” said a Mapu spokesperson.

The officials noticed the three vessels which tried to escape. Daff officials however confiscated the vessels, diving gear, nets, abalone and rock lobster tails.

“In the first case two men, aged 46 and 30, were arrested. One bag containing four whole rock lobster and 20 tails and another containing 50 abalone was found in their possession. They appeared in court on charges of the illegal possession of abalone,” said September.

A 48-year-old man was also arrested and his vessel confiscated after two rock lobster tails were found on the vessel. The suspect was released on bail after appearing in court on a charge relating to the Marine Living Resources Act.

“A 26-year-old man was arrested near Schulphoek for being in possession of seven abalone and two periwinkle,” said September.

“This success once again is testament to the effectiveness and cooperation between the public, Mapu and Daff,” said Mapu.

“Mapu would like to thank the public for constantly reporting poaching activities and to encourage them to keep reporting it. Mapu would also like to thank Daff Hermanus for the dedication and assistance they provide to help the fight against poaching.”

Daff did not respond to email and telephonic requests for comment.

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