Poachers heading out from Hout Bay

Who you gonna call (if you see a poacher)?

Anyone who has dived out of Hout Bay harbour, or spent time at Betty’s Bay or Pringle Bay, has probably seen abalone or rock lobster poachers in action. Miller’s Point is another hotspot for this kind of illegal activity – a poacher whose friends had deserted him once tried to sell his gear to Tony in exchange for some cash. We have called the police in Hout Bay about poachers on the slipway on more than one occasion, but they usually “don’t have transport”. (One can also identify with this lame excuse to some extent – it is not unheard of for poaching syndicates to threaten the families of local policemen and women.)

Poachers heading out from Hout Bay
Poachers heading out from Hout Bay

I still volunteer once a month (when my car is working properly) at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Tinus, the Operations Manager, recently shared details of who to contact when a poaching operation is observed. The aquarium sometimes gets calls about poaching from concerned members of the public, but there are direct routes to report it and you should use those. Tinus has agreed for me to share the information here – the wider the audience the better!

Should you ever witness a marine poaching operation in progress in the greater Cape Town area, or non-compliance with fishing regulations (number of fish, species, size, etc) this is the number to contact: 028 313 2703. This is the Green Scorpions’ 24 hour manned operation room situated in Hermanus where all calls are recorded, logged and acted upon. (The Green Scorpions website is currently offline. They are also known as the Environmental Management Inspectorate, EMI.)

Alternatively, or for environmental offences throughout the republic, whether marine or terrestrial, the 24 hour toll free number for the Environmental Management Inspectorate is 0800 205 005.

 During office hours, you can also contact the Green Scorpions on 021 402 3361, 021 402 3430 or 021 402 3506/16/25/29/33.

Hopefully you will not have to resort to this, but should the agencies above not respond as required by law, please contact the National Anti-Corruption Hotline for Public Service, 24 hours toll-free on 0800 701 701.

It would be nice if there was a similar number to report parties damaging and looting shipwrecks that are older than 60 years – does anyone know of one?

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.