South African sea snails under threat from surge in poaching – report

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Poverty and crime in South Africa are driving a surge in the illegal harvesting off its shores of the abalone, a large sea snail coveted as a delicacy in some parts of Asia, a report said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A bag of dried abalone confiscated from suspected poachers is seen in Cape Town March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

The report, by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, found that the region’s abalone population is on the verge of collapse, with an estimated 96 million abalone illegally harvested between 2000 and 2016.

Only around a third of the abalone taken from southern African waters is legal, the report said.

Most affected the once-abalone rich Atlantic waters off South Africa’s Western Cape province, where chronic poverty and…

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