File picture: Reuters
Cape Town – Among criminal activities plaguing the Overstrand region is the poaching of abalone, and according to the provincial police ombudsman’s report on policing in the region, there has been a decrease in confiscations of illegal abalone recently.

The 2018/19 annual report by JJ Brand was presented to the provincial standing committee on community safety in the legislature yesterday.

It found that police recorded 96 cases of illegal abalone confiscations in the 2016/17 financial year, and 136 arrests were made for abalone weighing 29 289kg.

In 2017/2018, 110 cases were recorded for abalone worth R56 217 900 weighing 37 216kg, and 153 arrests were made during this period.

In 2018/2019, 107 cases were recorded and 156 arrests made for abalone valued at R22 296 000 and weighing 14 782kg.

Brand recommended to Police Minister Bheki Cele that the investigation of the cases concerning the loss of abalone be reviewed and prioritised

He said abalone-related crimes should be categorised at the same level as rhino poaching.

Brand recommended, among others, that the MEC for Environmental Affairs address the backlog concerning the disposal of abalone at storage facilities with the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Fisheries.

Cape Times