South Africa Bans All Abalone Fishing

Years of poaching have devastated South Africa's abalone population, with thousands of tons taken from coastal waters every year. Now, the country has taken the dramatic step of banning all abalone fishing in a last-ditch plan to save the endangered species. The move affects 1,000 commercial fishermen who harvested abalone legally, but South Africa's Environment Affairs Minister says it is necessary not only to keep the species from going extinct but to protect the entire fishing industry in southern part of the country.

South Africa hopes that many of the commercial fishermen affected will move to tourism-related industries.

Risks to South Africa's abalone species, known as perlemoen, include rampant poaching and an invasive species, the West Coast Rock Lobsters, which eats the sea urchins the abalone use for shelter.

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