100 de­ad crabs found dum­ped

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - News - Lin­da S­parg

A cou­ple we­re shoc­ked to see a­bout 100 crabs dis­car­ded on the ground ne­ar a rub­bish bin at First Be­ach, Da­na Bay, t­his week.

Ko­bus and Ma­ria Hag­glund, who are re­si­dents of the u­su­al­ly pris­ti­ne Da­na Bay, took pho­to­grap­hs of the crabs and sent them to the Mos­sel Bay Ad­ver­ti­ser.

The cou­ple spot­ted the crabs w­hen t­hey went to the be­ach on Mon­day, 28 Au­gust, at a­bout 14:00. The crabs had not been t­he­re the af­ter­noon be­fo­re, t­hey said.

In one of the pic­tu­res it is e­vi­dent the per­pe­tra­tors u­sed the crabs as bait be­cau­se fis­hing li­ne and a swi­vel are still at­ta­ched.

“W­hat a shame! T­hey could ha­ve re­le­a­sed them back in­to the o­ce­an or in the dust­bins but t­hey just keft it next to the bins,” the Hag­glunds said.

S­tran­ded Ma­ri­ne A­ni­mal Res­cue Te­am (S.M.A.R.T.) chair Ter­sia Ma­ria re­acted to t­his des­cructi­on of sea li­fe with dis­may: “T­his is a dis­gra­ce. T­his is how our ma­ri­ne li­fe di­sap­pears.”

Marais con­fir­med the­se we­re kno­wn as threes­pot­ted swim­ming crabs. “Har­ves­ting of on­ly 10 per per­son per day is al­lo­wed. T­hey are u­sed to ca­tch w­hi­te steen­bras, w­hi­te mus­sel crac­ker and gal­joen.”

Be­si­des her shock at the num­ber of crabs, ma­ny of them we­re un­der­si­zed, which ma­de the cri­me wor­se.

Marais said crabs should be kept a­li­ve in a buc­ket of wa­ter and should fis­her­men not use them all, t­hey should be re­tur­ned to the sea. “The­se are bad fis­hing ha­bits.”

She ex­pres­sed frus­tra­ti­on that it was “ne­ar im­pos­si­ble to en­for­ce the law” and that t­he­re we­re not e­nough pa­trols of be­a­ches, bar­ring the Ca­pe Na­tu­re ma­ri­ne re­ser­ves, w­he­re ran­gers we­re pre­va­lent.

Re­si­dents should re­port il­le­gal har­ves­ting of ma­ri­ne a­ni­mals to Si­si­we Fo­no (083 663 9155) or S­ham­ley Ti­tus (084 411 4386) at the De­part­ment of A­gri­cul­tu­re, Fo­re­stry and Fis­her­ies, which in­ves­ti­ga­tes the­se ca­ses.

• See mo­re p­ho­tos on www. mos­sel­ba­y­ad­ver­ti­ser.com

Fis­hing li­ne is ent­wi­ned a­mong the crabs.

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