For the past several years, the NPS/Office of International Affairs has been working with South African National Parks (SANParks) on a variety of issues, often with a focus on combatting wildlife poaching. Usually when that topic comes up, one would normally think about the protection of rhinos and elephants. But recently during a webinar with SANParks staff, NPSOIA focused on abalone poaching.
A major problem in South African waters, the webinar focused on how abalone populations are ascertained, how the poaching is taking place, what is being done about it and other matters related to abalone management. Two NPS specialists spoke about how the issue affects US NPS units. - Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) marine biologist David Kushner, and Point Reyes National Seashore (PORE) law enforcement ranger John Eleby. Eighteen staff from both park systems joined in the call and many positive comments were shared on how the two countries may be able to collaborate and share lessons learned on this issue in the future.