Poachers nabbed by new patrol craft Lilian Ngoyi

Feb 7, 2005
Author: by JP Louw
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT)

The preventative policing strategy employed by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism's environmental protection vessel, the Lilian Ngoyi, yielded results again this weekend as nine alleged poachers were arrested and 1500 abalone, a vehicle and rubber duck seized on Saturday, 5 February 2005.

The arrest took pace after the Lilian Ngoyi, together with the Department's land-based West Coast anti-poaching team, observed a group of divers who behaved suspiciously in the Saldanha area for two days. The alleged poachers, several from Hawston and Arniston, were expected to appear in court today, Monday 7 February 2005. The total value of seized items is estimated at R700 000,00 (abalone R250 000,00; vehicle R200 000,00; rubber-duck R250 000,00).

Since the Lilian Ngoyi began operations two months ago, 3 vessels were seized, spot fines to the value of more than R30 000,00 were issued and the illegal use of rubber-ducks in the area usually targeted by poachers, has considerably been reduced from an average of 16 per week to approximately one per week, signifying the deterrent success rate of the Lilian Ngoyi.

The Department took delivery of the Lilian Ngoyi in November last year, being the first of three state-of-the-art in-shore Environmental Protection Vessels commissioned by the Department in its efforts to boost fishery compliance.

South Africa's first off-shore environmental protection vessel, the Sarah Baartman, was officially handed over to the Department in January this year.

Lilian Ngoyi (red vessel in the background) was on hand to welcome her larger sister patrol ship Sarah Baartman on the latter’s arrival from the builders in Europe – Lilian Ngoyi was built locally at the Farocean Shipyards in Cape Town. Picture courtesy DEAT

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