Poacher | Natural History: Animal & Wildlife
Shuhood Abader , Kimon de Greef
Flares exploded in the sky. Stun grenades fired into the water. From the dunes came a volley of gunshots. It was an Operation Neptune sting. Without thinking, Shuhood dived into a big pile of kelp, pulling the fronds over his face. He could hear the men being beaten up, the thud of boots striking bodies. Then somebody kicked him hard.
Locked up for poaching abalone, Shuhood Abader began writing his life story. For over fifteen years, he had been a small cog in a criminal industry stretching from the Cape underworld to China’s luxury seafood market. As abalone – perlemoen, perly – vanishes from the South African coast, Shuhood’s first-person account takes us right into the heart of the crisis.
Kimon de Greef’s postgraduate research on poaching led him into journalism, and today he is the pre-eminent local expert on the illicit abalone trade. He contextualises Abader’s raw, immediate tale by showing how the system works: from desperate fishing communities via gang strongholds on the Cape Flats, tik, guns and police complicity to the harbours of Morocco and Hong Kong.
Journey with the authors through death-defying dives, blackmail, robbery, shark encounters, near-drownings, and chases by police and rivals.
Poacher tells the story of a deadly black market; but it is also the story of one man, deeply conflicted, committed to his faith and searching for a better way.
Finally, a book that reveals the inner workings of a murky underworld market we know alarmingly little about … a first-hand account from an insider. – Mandy Wiener
Riveting, insightful and beautifully told. A deep dive into a hidden underworld revealing the very human face of poaching as no other book has. – Julian Rademeyer
A stunning achievement. A classic South African narrative that includes questions of race, place, politics and morality. Intimate and wide-ranging, superbly researched and superbly written… – Richard Poplak
Fast moving and perceptive – Horst Kleinschmidt