There are concerns that poaching has threatened the West Coast rock lobster to critical levels.
The West Coast rock lobster, commonly known as kreef, is one of South Africans’ favourite festive-season foods.
The stock is very much depleted compared to where you would want it to be in terms of sustainable fisheries management.— Prof. André Punt, Director at School of Aquatic and Fisher Science, University of Washington
It's estimated that there are only 15 000 tonnes (1.5 million kilograms) of the local crayfish currently available.
The stock stood at around 800 000 tonnes (800 million kilograms) in the early 2000s, says fisheries expert Prof. André Punt.
Punt explains that kreef are disappearing into poachers' nets and government officials cannot accurately quantify the loss.
He says the rise of poaching is an enforcement issue which affects long-term data analysis.
Listen to him explain:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : West Coast rock lobster dwindling due to poaching, says fisheries prof