Just Out: "First steps to tackling South Africa’s abalone poaching"

22 Nov 2018 - 11:45

Dr Marieke Norton has published an article in The Conversation with an excellent overview and possible way forward for South Africa's abalone poaching problem.

"South Africa faces the possible collapse of several inshore fisheries, particularly certain species of linefish, abalone and West Coast Rock Lobster. If nothing is done, not only will the ecology be poorer and change in many unexpected ways, but sea-derived livelihoods will collapse. The social structures that have maintained communities and relationships with the sea will follow.

In South Africa abalone is threatened because of a number of failures. These include a lack of opportunities combined with poverty in small towns along the country’s coast, as well as inefficiencies in fishery management.

Abalone is a mollusc of the genus Haliotis. It’s found in most parts of the world except one or two continental coasts and the polar regions. Along South Africa’s coast, baby abalone –- called spat -– shelter among the sea urchins that cohabit with the shellfish on our rocky shores. The muscular and mucous-rich meat of the sea snail is delicious. It’s been eaten along the South African coast for millennia."