By Duncan Alfreds
South Africa is in dire need of ships and aeroplanes to combat poaching in waters off the coast, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) has said.
Samsa monitors the movement of vessels off the Southern African coast, but the government agency said that even if it spotted suspicious activity, it was not always able to physically respond.
"I suppose it depends on where and when - you might just be fortunate that you have assets close by, but I think all our assets are quite short in being able to respond," Karl Otto, outgoing executive head at the Centre for Sea Watch and Response at Samsa told News24.
He said that multiple challenges inhibited the centre's ability to send ships to intercept potential poachers in South African waters.
"Some [ships\ might be multi-tasking: Being involved in surveying and you might be chasing vessels up the east coast and you might have a need on the west coast and they may not have a vessel available - either they're being repaired or there's no fuel - there's some issue."
Otto said that while it may seem ideal to have an unlimited number of vessels to patrol the South African maritime region, the cost of such an exercise would not be practical for SA. More....