It comes as no surprise that there is still much unhappiness around the 2015/16 fishing rights allocation process. The press has reported this week that both small scale and commercial fishermen have criticised the draft fishing rights allocation as unfair.
This week officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) held the second of 31 public consultation meetings.
The current draft policy proposes a 26 percent fee increase for all sectors. Full time commercial fishermen, Armin Weinar was quoted as saying: “They say they want to be fair to all applicants. Then at the same time they want to everybody judged against the same criteria by no longer splitting the applicants up between existing rights holders and new entrants.”
Weinar also added that the industry was close to his heart and that he is saddened to see resources dwindle so dangerously.
The press has also covered the rescue of a hump back whale that became entangled in ropes and bouys off Cape Point earlier this week. The research vessel the Ellen Khuzwayo was carrying out research in the area and the whale became in tangled in the ropes and bouys being used for the research. The South African Whale Disentanglement Network was alerted and after a 40 minute operation the whale was freed and despite some damage to its stock tail seemed to be strong and healthy.
Operation Phakisa has made headlines again this week with a seminar in London attended by Transport Deputy Minister Sindiswe Chikunga to promote investment in South Africa’s oceans economy.
In her address at the conference which took place at South Africa House in London the minister said that the conference displayed the ethos of Operation Phakisa which was to accelerate implementation of government’s strategic development programmes.
Research shows that South Africa’s ocean economy has the potential to contribute R180 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create about a million jobs.
The purpose of Chikunga’s visit to London has been to share information on the recent developments South Africa has achieved in growing the oceans economy.
“We need potential partners on a win-win basis to support South Africa’s oceans economy strategy. We extend an open invitation to investors to visit South Africa to further explore vast investment opportunities,” the minister said.