South Africa: Illegal fishing is act of terrorism
The announcement came after almost ten foreign fishing vessels with more than 160 tons of fish, mainly tuna from suspected vessels that had illegally changed their names, have been seized in an intensified crackdown. The crackdown also led to the arrests and detention of several suspected fishers who were found fishing in prohibited fishing zones, the committee said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
Anti-poaching interventions have led to evident decline of illegal fishing activities and several arrests since October this year, the committee said. But it did not mention the nationality of the detained vessels and fishers.
Illegal marine poaching "necessitates an immediate call for more investment and resources in the anti-poaching interventions in an effort to protect the seashores and preserve marine-living resources in South Africa," said the committee.
In the statement, Committee Chairperson Lulu Johnson called for tougher penalties against all those arrested and involved in the recent incidents and described the involvement of foreign fishers in illegal activities as tantamount to acts of terrorism and mercenary against South Africa. ■