Restaurant Owners Held after Stake-Out by Marine Rangers

Article excerpt

BYLINE: KAREN BREYTENBACH

TWO south Peninsula restaurateurs and a man who allegedly sold abalone to them will appear in the Simon's Town Magistrate's court today on charges related to the illegal possession of protected marine stocks.

The owners of the restaurant - two Chinese nationals - and a South African man who came into their restaurant with a bag of abalone were arrested on Monday afternoon after a stake-out by marine rangers who monitored the coastline for suspicious activities.

The rangers, from Table Mountain National Park and Marine Coastal Management (MCM), had set up observation posts in the area when the suspect entered the restaurant.

The rangers followed the man in and inspected the restaurant.

TMNP communications manager Phumeza Mgxashe said the rangers discovered a locked backroom in the restaurant, where they found four 2.5 metre-long chest freezers containing protected or undersized marine species.

MCM Inspector Tracey Ahshene, who was involved in the search, said they found 1 004 undersized West Coast rock lobster, 28 abalone, three small bags of processed abalone, 127 salmon, one bag of mixed marine species including tuna, salmon, jacopever and seven kingklip. …