South Africa bans wild abalone fishing

The South African government has announced a ban on commercial fishing of wild abalone from February 1. The move comes just a few days after the ministry of environmental affairs published regulations concerning abalone diving restrictions.

The decision will ensure the mollusc's survival, says the government. Abalone is a prized sea delicacy and aphrodisiac, with a huge market in Southeast Asia. Though it occurs along two-thirds of the country's coastline, its stocks are currently being threatened by commercial harvesting, over-fishing and poaching. In 2007, authorities seized abalones worth us $20 million.