Marine Anti-Poaching Unit
Marine Anti-Poaching Unit (MAPU) is a Non-Profit Company (NPC), with Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) status, dedicated to ensuring that we share our passion for protecting our marine life. Our focus is on environmental awareness, poverty relief through job creation, poaching prevention and sustainability.
The company came to life in July 2017 with a team of 4 when the rife poaching activity in Pringle and Betty’s Bay were experienced. There was a clear need in the community for assistance as the situation was escalating on a daily basis.
The Operations director has >15 years’ experience in anti-poaching. With the help of a volunteer a 15 day ‘proof of concept’ was conducted by the two individuals covering Rooiels to Kleinmond.
In the 15 days 34 incidences were logged.
53% (18) of the cases poaching was prevented through a pro-active approach preventing poachers from reaching our ocean.
On average 8 divers were involved in each incident and based on the average abalone collected per diver (10-20kg) we saved 2.7 tons of abalone during this project.
On a further 21% (7) of the cases abalone were recovered. On one of these we managed to retrieve the catch early enough to place 151 abalone back into their natural habitat.
Marine Anti-Poaching Unit (MAPU) is the only one of its kind as our focus is pro-active and focusing on prevention. Anti-poaching is a major need in the Overstrand area thus our goal is deploy Response Teams that will monitor known hotspots and continue to prevent the destruction of abalone throughout the Overstrand.
Marine Anti-Poaching Unit (MAPU) will recruit the Response teams from the local community and aim to address unemployment and assist with skills development.
Marine Anti-Poaching Unit will apply a pro-active, flexible and sustainable solution where we, with support from the community, will be accountable for the protection of our marine life. We will operate on the following structure:
Level 1 – Community / Volunteers
- Conduct routine foot-patrols, observations and report suspicious activity to the Response Team.
Level 2 – Response Teams
- Employed from the community, trained in observation and anti-poaching methodologies. These teams will be patrolling the area in vehicles, preventing poachers from entering the area and respond to complaints.
Level 3 – Directors
- Responsible for deployment strategies, networking and maintenance of skills and development.
All training will be conducted by the operations manager of Marine Anti-Poaching Unit.
Marine Anti-Poaching Unit (MAPU) have aligned with Sea Fisheries, DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Cape Nature and SAPS as a supporting function with their ongoing fight against poaching.
Despite their best efforts the 36 days post our proof of concept, 60 incidents of poaching were logged with no prevention and all of the recovered abalone was already shucked. Based on the current trend of abalone destruction, we have maximum 10 years before the species are completely extinct. Action is thus required TODAY.