DAFF removes illegal drive-by fish market at Hibberdene quickly and effectively
It never took a day. Following procedure, we called the Senior Marine Inspector for DAFF, Mr. Bongani Pitoyi, to alert DAFF of the illegal (and dangerous) highway fish market in Hibberdene. There were literally a hundred of these poachers. Scattered all around the N2 and R102 interchange. Bunches of crayfish. And none of the shad were looking legal sized at all.
We had made a late call to Bongani, we were on our way home after a long day of sardine patrol. And so the very next morning we set out, nice on early, back on our beat. They were gone! None left. We verified this the next day. And the next.
But if we had not called Bongani up, they would still have been there. And this is the thing. DAFF are really understaffed. Spread thinly over hundreds of kilometres of coastline zones. They cannot afford, or do not have the means, to be everywhere at once. Even Ezimvelo could’nt do that.
But we can. In our individual capacities, all armed with cellphone cameras – we can form the network required for DAFF to do it’s job effectively.
In Umkomaas, the good guys there that patrol the Umkomaas Estuary system and surrounding rivers, (Emil Pirzenthal and George Snodey are ring leaders), work with DAFF and the police to continually fight the war on nets going on there right now. Nets are somehow getting down the KZN coast and wreaking untold havoc on our already maimed estuaries. Without these guys being activists, thousands upon thousands more fish would have been killed. For the angler in you, the Oxe-Eye Tarpon, a coveted and rare catch for any sportfisher, were discovered in the nets. Some were rescued, many not. But get on down to the Umkomaas with your fly-rod, and keep an eye out for suspicious activity at the same time.
This is the point. We are everywhere, all the time.
Just as Apple iPhones all have built in barometers, and can feed weather data back to a server for processing in real time – we can feed back poacher data to DAFF. They can then direct resources to the particular problem, as they did in Hibberdene, and sort the problem out.
Complaining and whining about how many shad were destroyed this year, carried off the beach in buckets, is not going to help.
If you witness such a travesty, call the team at DAFF!
DAFF Contact Details
- The DAFF vessel operating in our area – The Ruth First, is usually off the Transkei. Their number is 079 773 6514 and Inspector Teyise is on board right now. These are the crew to report suspicious fishing vessel activity to
- Our contact, Senior Marine Conservation Inspector Mr. Bongani Pitoyi is on 071 765 2533, and is extremely helpful and effective on all matters big and small
- Another number you can call is Deputy Director Mr Moshani on 076 780 5049
Read about Trawler Watch here.
As a tailend, we would just like to highlight the fact that not one person has called in a suspicious trawler, since Robbie van Wijk nailed one off Mdumbi two whole months ago. Perhaps the presence of the Ruth First and the Sarah Baardman has actually kept the foreign plunderers away. And that is why we are getting sardines through this year, all the way to Durban? Thanks to Robbie! Our devout and deep undercover sardine spy way down in Mdumbi. And DAFF of course.