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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Say Goodbye to South Africa's Abalone

The South African government is thinking about a 10 year ban on commercial fishing of abalone (perlemoen). My guess is too little too late:

By November this year, if no significant reversal was seen in the decline of abalone stocks, "we will be forced to announce a plan to close down the commercial abalone sector for a period of about 10 years", Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk warned on Tuesday.

Opening debate on his department’s budget vote in the National Assembly, he told MPs the main causes of the decline were poaching and "ecosystem effects", the latter the result of a southward migration of rock lobsters that had wiped out the sea urchin population on the Cape’s south coast.

Young abalone - an edible mollusc, known locally as perlemoen - take shelter from predators under the spines of sea urchins.


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