Pretoria — The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has urged residents and tourists in coastal areas to help curb the exploitation of the country's marine resources.
"October to December has always been a period during which the highest number of poaching incidences is reported or consignments of abalone and rock-lobsters confiscated by our officials and other law enforcement agencies," said the department on Friday.
DAFF said that during the Christmas and Easter breaks, more people were in coastal towns and cities and activities on the country's beaches were also increasing.
"For this reason, DAFF understands that this also means more eyes and ears that can be useful in our anti-poaching drive and therefore encourage everyone who notices any suspicious fishing activities to call our Fisheries Tip-off line on +27 28 313 2703 or +27 28 312 2609," said the department.
The public can also contact their nearest police station or CrimeStop on 08600 10111.
In October and November, 143 391 units of abalone (around 16-tons) were confiscated.
The department also assured the public that it took all poaching-related tip-offs seriously.
"At times we might not act within the time that an informer expects us to but because of what seems like a delay in their eyes, it does not necessarily mean that we are not attending to the reported incident.
"We would also like to caution that we will not always be able to respond in the way that those who informed us of a particular incident would want us to, but once all relevant factors are considered, we will determine the best course of action," said departmental spokesperson Lionel Adendorf. -SAnews.gov.za