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SAPS makes R10-million abalone bust

by Selwyn Bergman
on 09 Nov 2007
Oceanography SA
Oceanography SA

Police in Gauteng have seized R10-million rands worth of abalone (perlemoen) and arrested two Chinese nationals in connection with poaching of the endangered species yesterday.

Police spokesperson, Lorraine van Emmerik, said that after receiving a tip-off about the abalone operation, a task team was set up and the premises was raided. A search of the premises revealed perlemoen that had already been dried and was awaiting transportation, as well as perlemoen in the process of being dried.

The bust comes in the wake of an international uproar caused when South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, postponed the passing of legislation intended to ban abalone harvesting. The ban was meant to relieve pressure on the species that is currently facing "commercial extinction". Instead, van Schalkwyk reduced the Total Allowable Catch to 75 tonnes and announced that the abalone fishery would close three months early.


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