Abalone poaching is a harsh reality in South Africa. These sea snails are being farmed commercially to supply the markets in the East with this highly sought-after delicacy, but unfortunately the value of this animal is so high that illegal poaching from natural populations is very common. Poachers risk their own lives by diving for these animals. The area around Gansbaai in South Africa is known for its great white sharks, extensive kelp
forests and rough seas, but the reward for poachers makes poaching abalone worthwhile.
Protoclea’s Oxylus system is being used here for an early detection system, to help with the fight against abalone poaching. With natural populations in rapid decline, the farm’s security suspects that it will only be a matter of time before the oceans can’t deliver anymore, and then the poachers will turn their attention to the commercial farms. The main objective was to detect poachers before they get to the farm and the surrounding ocean, so that security personnel can respond and keep the farm and the remaining abalone in the oceans there, safe.
The system can detect humans approaching the perimeter from up to 1500m away, even in the middle of the night. It has been invaluable in detecting unwanted trespassers long before they even get the chance to do harm to the farm. If conventional camera deployment strategies were used, the solution would have costed well over R10 million, but with intelligent placement of the masts, an effective solution was achieved at a fraction of the cost. Extreme weather conditions such as strong winds of 100km/h and high humidity that results in rapid corrosion of metals require only the best solutions. The hardware used at the sites near Gansbaai are of the best quality, and even a sea gull who attempted to make a nest on the ever rotating PT head could not affect the system. We are confident that the system will have many more years of uninterrupted surveillance in the area, which will keep the farm, its personnel and the remaining abalone in the oceans around Gansbaai safe!