Operation Phakisa five multi-disciplinary teams in the Overberg
11 December 2019
Phakisa Initiative 5, is the Enhanced and Coordinated Compliance and Enforcement Initiative along the South African coast and maritime environment, resulting in effective cooperation and collaboration between participating departments and agencies. Phakisa initiative 5, led by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is active within all four Coastal Provinces.
Operation Phakisa Initiative 5 deployed integrated teams into the Overberg Region with notable success over the period 27 September to 30 November 2019. The presence of integrated teams consisting of border police, fisheries officials, nature conservation and local law enforcement officials resulted in a noticeable reduction of poaching activities, ensuring that the resource remains in the ocean. There was also considerable success during this deployment in addressing infringements of the Road Traffic Act, other offences under the Marine Living Resources Act and criminal activity in general.
The presence of integrated teams highlights the impact of visible enforcement in the area. Similar successes were noted in December 2018 and January 2019. The ability of these teams to react to reported incidents within the region has contributed to overall successes and visible presence of law enforcement entities.
During this last deployment period a total of 982 fines, to the value of R556 892, were issued and overall seizures to the value of R3 701 276 were effected. Marine resources to the value of R2 110 151 were confiscated, inclusive of Abalone and West Coast Rock Lobster to the value of R1 742 826 and R336 700 respectively. Nine vehicles, six trailers and nine vessels to the value of R1 305 000 were confiscated during the integrated operations. Tik to the value of R7425 was confiscated thus preventing the sale thereof to local communities.
In total 59 people were arrested and 193 warnings were issued. The operation entailed 129 foot patrols, 429 vehicle patrols and 2 vessel patrols, with 4 235 vehicles, 4 147 persons, 14 vessels and 12 premises being searched. At one premises, fireworks to the value of R 32 000 were seized.
The deployment of integrated Operation Phakisa Teams highlights government’s commitment to prevent the exploitation and destruction of marine resources within the coastal Provinces. The support provided by Overstrand Law Enforcement, local municipalities, community members and forums to Operation Phakisa Initiative 5 contributed to the overall successes and emphasises the importance of cooperation between Law Enforcement and the Public.
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