The perlemoen and Patagonian toothfish poached in South African waters and sold illegally in Asian markets are worth more than the country’s entire legal fishing industry.
The perlemoen and Patagonian toothfish sold illegally in south-east Asia each year fetch at least R4.4 billion - compared with the R4.1bn annual value of our legal fishing industry.
These shocking figures were revealed in a paper by Shaheen Moolla of Feike, a company that advises on marine regulatory law and environmental management.
Up to 10 times the total allowable catch of perlemoen was being sold in Asia, at a conservative value of R1.8bn.
And while the total allowable catch for Patagonian tooth fish was just 450 tons, it was believed that an annual 32 000 tons valued at R2.6bn was sold in Asia.
Moolla called for the urgent introduction of pro-active measures to stop poaching, particularly closing trade loopholes to block illegal exports.