Two men nabbed for illegal netting of fish
Local crime fighters and authorities teamed up last week to curb crime of an environmental kind.
Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA) operations head Otto Olivier said on the evening of 8 November, police and other crime fighters embarked on a cleanup operation along the Bitou River. “Plett Rapid Response members took up various surveillance points near the N2 turn-off to Wittedrift following various complaints about suspicious activity in the area,” he said.
Suspects were spotted removing nets and apprehended once they set foot on shore.
Plettenberg Bay police spokesperson Captain Marlene Pietersen confirmed the arrests and said the two suspects would appear in court this week.
All the suspects’ equipment were confiscated, she said.
Olivier said the Bitou River links to the Keurbooms River and feeds the Keurbooms Estuary. “The Bitou River and wetland area are part of the greater Keurbooms Estuary Nature Reserve and falls under the protection of Cape Nature. Netting for fish is totally prohibited on the river as the sensitive ecological integrity of the Bitou and Keurbooms rivers are also the breeding ground of many fish species and a safe haven for seahorses.”
A joint operation by various local authorities saw suspects arrested for illegal netting of fish on the Bitou River. The suspects’ vehicle, boat and equipment were confiscated.