A 38-year-old man from Hawston, near Hermanus, was arrested on Monday, October 19 for being in possession of crayfish to the value of an estimated R3.5-million.
“A security officer from Gordon’s Bay security was patrolling in the vicinity when he received information of a suspicious looking vehicle in the Lwandle area,” the Somerset West Community Policing Forum (CPF) said in a statement via Facebook.
“When the driver of the Nissan LDV realize that he was being monitored he sped off and drove towards the N2 in Somerset West. The vehicle then continued on the N2 driving towards Sir Lowry’s Pass where police joined the chase and managed to stop the vehicle.”
The driver was arrested and upon searching the vehicle a total of 6832 crayfish tails and 235 live crayfish were found at the back of the LDV. The crayfish was handed over to the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries.
“Once charged the suspect is due to appear in the Somerset West Magistrates’ Court to face the charges against him. Well done to Gordon’s Bay Security and all involved,” the CPF said.
Those who are found with more than four crayfish may face fines or arrest, as this is the maximum number any permit holder is allowed to fish for. Rock lobster populations are low, and thus only limited numbers of the crayfish may be caught. Recreational fishermen are also not allowed to sell their catch.
Any individual over the age of 12 years old is able to obtain a west coast rock lobster (WCRL) permit.
“No person catching WCRL with a recreational permit may sell his/her catch and any WCRL caught, collected or transported must be kept in a whole state,” the Department of Forestry and Fisheries said in a statement. “A maximum of 20 WCRL’s may be transported per day on condition that all the persons who caught such WCRL’s are present in the vehicle, vessel or aircraft during transportation and that such persons are in possession of recreational WCRL permits.”
Picture: Somerset West CPF/Facebook