The failing South African Fisheries Department
Shaheen Moolla is the managing director of Feike, a Cape Town-based natural resources advisory firm, and a practising advocate of the High Court of SA. Through his blog, Shaheen keeps South Africans and interested parties informed of the status of fisheries management in South Africa.
His most recent blog post is an inditement on South Africa’s Fisheries Department and is extremely worrying.
“The Fisheries Department (DAFF) this morning confirmed before the Portfolio Committee on Fisheries that it is unable to implement the most basic obligations required of it under the Marine Living Resources Act.”
And explains further:
“The Department's admissions are downright startling and contradict previous (false) assertions just last week that all was under control such as the hake trawl survey (which is under control but because the trawl industry has had to take charge of the survey and use an industry vessel). In particular, the DAFF - now under the leadership of Deputy Director-General, Greta Apelgren-Nakardien - has confirmed that it has failed to undertake fisheries compliance surveillance and therefore cannot say what fish has been illegally harvested from SA waters; the research cruises have failed and are now essentially being undertaken by industry and it is plainly apparent that the department will simply not be able to allocate fishing rights this year.”
He uses strong words such as “grossly negligent conduct” on the part of the department. Apparantly, Feike (and Shaheen) and the opposition party (the Democatice Alliance) have been sounding off about the issue for months now and have been largely ignored.