Over 3km of poaching nets found in Garden Route Park

Posted by Anita Froneman on 1 September 2020

SANParks staff have found more than 3km of poachers’ gill nets in the Touw and Swartvlei estuaries in the Garden Route National Park. The nets, intercepted by rangers over the past months, were destroyed by SANParks.

Gill nets form a wall of netting that hangs in the water, and those used by poachers are typically made of netting material from vegetable pockets sewn together. These nets are a threat to fish, otters, birds and even water plants.

‘Gill nets are not only illegal but can be a highly destructive and indiscriminate form of fishing that threatens local fish populations and their sustainable use,’ SANParks spokesperson Nandi Mgwadlamba told HeraldLive.

‘All these species contribute to the life of the Touw and the Swartvlei which are both in the top 10 mega-biodiverse estuaries in South Africa. The interception and removal of gill nets from these estuaries is a high priority for SANParks Wilderness-based rangers’

Mgwadlamba appealed to the Garden Route communities to work with rangers by reporting any suspicious activity or signs of netting to SANParks on 044-877-1197. She also urged residents with boats or canoes to register them with SANParks, as many poachers steal boats to deploy their netting and this will help track down the owners of stolen property.

Image: Twitter/SANParks

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