Weekly Press Review – 19 February 2018

The Two Ocean Aquarium is back in the news this week with its turtle rehabilitation and release programme.

The programme cares for a number of injured turtles with the hope of restoring their health and releasing them back into the ocean as soon as possible.

At present the aquarium is caring for a young hatchling (Hatchling No 31), a loggerhead turtle who is not quite ready for release, but is receiving massage and exercise in order to strengthen his front flippers.

Newcomer Koda is also doing well after being rescued at Eskom Koeberg Nature Reserve and brought to the aquarium covered in barnacles.

Other turtles under the care of the aquarium include Moya, recovering from a large wound to his flipper and Bob and Sandy recovering from a propeller wound and loss of eyesight due to eating plastic respectively.

We thank the staff at the Two Ocean’s Aquarium for all their efforts, but the reality is that all these incidents could have been prevented.  Surely it is time for those using our oceans to become more aware of who they are sharing the marine environment with.  Our marine animals are suffering due to our disregard for, not only their natural environment, but for the very environment that we depend for our survival.

 

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Weekly Press Review – 12 February 2018

Making headlines this week is the news that fishing company, Sea Harvest, expects to see an improvement in its earnings a share of at least 28 percent for the year ending in December.

The group says the performance was mainly driven by the South African operations with strong market demand for Cape hake globally and significantly enhanced performance from the investments made in the Saldanha Bay processing plants.

With the huge amounts of perlemoen constantly poached from South African waters, a call has been made to national government to turn its attention to the ongoing poaching, as well as its policy towards small-scale fisheries.

A request is to be made to Minister Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) that funding be made available to ensure the effective execution of the small-scale fisheries policy.

DAFF has been accused of neglecting the issue thus far.

Excitement is mounting for the return of 20 cadets who have been involved in a three-month exploration expedition to the Antarctica aboard the SA Agulhas.  According to the press the cadets will be docking in Cape Town later next week.

The cadets are pursuing maritime studies at various institutions and have spent the last three month aboard the science training vessel journeying through the Antarctica.

According to SAMSA chief operations officer, Sobantu Tilayi, “As SAMSA we are proud to have created a platform for young cadets to be trained on our vessel and gain experience in the open sea.”

Weekly Press Review – 5 February 2018

Minister Senzeni Zokwana is exploring alternate remedies to resolve the appeals filed by applicants for Hake Inshore Trawl fishing rights – without litigation.

According to the press, a statement will be issued within the next 15 days to update members of the public and the fishing industry on progress made in resolving the review applications.

The release of an ocean sunfish (Mola mola) by the Two Oceans Aquarium also made headlines this week.

The sunfish, named Holy Moly, was rescued by aquarium staff in December 2017 after it became trapped in the V&A Waterfront harbour. The fish has been cared for at the aquarium since, but after careful observation of its behaviour lately, it was felt that the fish was ready for release.

The ocean sunfish is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation and in South Africa alone over 340,000 are killed as by-catch annually.

Weekly Press Review 29 January 2018

This week the RMS St Helena left Cape Town harbour for its final round trip journey of three weeks to St Helena Bay and Ascension Island – a unique service that linked Cape Town with the mid-Atlantic islands for nearly 40 years.

According to the press, as of 24 January another ship will transport cargo about once a month to St Helena Bay. The only means of regular passenger travel will now be by air, thanks to a South African airline that started a weekly commercial flight in October after the delayed opening of an airport.

“Those who travelled in the old ship, however, will miss her special atmosphere, excellent service, delicious cuisine and wonderful people aboard,” said Brian Ingpen, regular contributor to the Cape Times.

2018 has been a busy year for police thus far with regard to perlemoen poaching. According to the press, millions of rands worth of illegally poached perlemoen has already been confiscated since the start of the year; with several arrests being made in the process.

Weekly Press Review – 22 January 2018

A group of top US maritime business students are visiting South Africa’s major shipping centres this month. According to the press, the aim of the visit is to learn from the local industry and explore the cultural complexity of the global maritime industry.

The event is hosted by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) and the visiting students, from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, are accompanied by their South African lecturer, Dr Portia Ndlovu.

“The global maritime family is expanding all the time and it is vitally important to understand the different cultures that may be encountered,” said Dr Ndlovu.

SAIMI spokesperson, Samantha Venter said, “Being able to support professional development and share our advances with international visitors is a big part of putting the African maritime sector on the global map.”

Also making headlines this week is the news that the proposed international listing of South African private freight and logistics group, Grindrod, has been delayed due to differences in legislation in the countries where it plans to list.

In a statement Grindrod said that work is continuing and based on current timing estimates the Grindrod board aims to make its final determination on the proposed international listing in the early part of 2018.

The annual 2018 South African Navy Festival has been cancelled due to insufficient funds.

According to the press, SA Navy spokesperson, Sam Khasuli said, “The organisation is beset with the dwindling of yearly budget allocations.”

The decision to cancel the festival allows the SA Navy to commit its depleted budget to the core business of defending and protecting the South African maritime zone.

Police officials arrested five suspects in possession of abalone with an estimated value of R3.6 million this week.

According to the press, the five suspects, aged between 22 and 26, have already made a court appearance to face a charge of illegal possession of abalone.

Also making headlines this week is the Two Oceans Aquarium battle against deadly single-use plastic straws, which find their way into our oceans.

Aquarium spokesperson, Renee Leeuwner said, “Hundreds of billions of plastic straws are used globally, damaging ecosystems, killing wildlife and contributing to the pollution of our atmosphere.

“Straws are not recyclable. Animals can mistake straws for food, which can lead to their deaths.”

The aquarium is addressing the issue through its “Straws Suck” campaign, saying that giving up straws is an ideal start and listing alternatives to the plastic straw as bamboo, glass, stainless steal and paper straws.

Weekly Press Review – 11 December 2017

The rapid development of the ocean economy could grow the South African economy and create jobs. So said President Jacob Zuma at the inaugural Terminal Operator’s Conference held in Durban this week.

According to the press the two day conference brought together experts and investors involved in logistics, liner shipping, ports, terminals, inland transport and equipment manufacturers with the aim of discussing improving trade flows across the African continent.

“In 2015, the ocean contributed about R60 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product and accounted for about 397,000 jobs. We believe that the future potential of the ocean economy is highly concentrated with the maritime industry.

“To grow intra-Africa trade, we need to see many coastal African countries investing in their ports and connecting infrastructure to link with inland countries,” said President Zuma.

What to do with the drunken sailors is the question being posed by some very unhappy residents in Simon’s Town.

According to the press the City of Cape Town has said that its legal and health departments have been called in to speak to the navy regarding the conduct of hundreds of cadets at Waterfall barracks in the once quiet suburb of Mount Pleasant, Simon’s Town.

To date, attempts by law enforcement officials to shut down huge weekend parties held by cadets at Waterfall have proved useless, with barrack management claiming that they do not fall under the city’s jurisdiction.

Friction between cadets and residents has resulted in screaming matches and even threats of violence.

“It would appear that the navy command are powerless to keep their own cadets under control,” said Simon’s Town ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock.

Navy spokesman, Commander KS Khasuli responded by saying, “The probabilities of members making noise cannot be disputed. To neutralise the noise level at the barracks the Military Police are conducting random rounds to ensure that members do adhere to domestic rules.

“Any act of ill-discipline will not be tolerated and decisive action will be taken against the perpetrator.”

Weekly Press Review – 4 December 2017

A call by the Committee for Economic Opportunities has been made for further investigation into the sinking of the Tandi, which nearly sank off Robben Island on 15 September with 60 passengers on board.

According to the press, this is after an initial investigation conducted by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) released their initial findings stating that the boat had taken on water causing the engine to fail, adding that the weather had had an impact on the incident.

Beverley Schafer, LLP and DA spokesperson, said that questions must be asked as to how a ferry boat like the Thandi can be allowed to operate when the tender requirements of SAMSA had not been completed on the vessel.

The West Coast rock lobster season officially opened on Saturday.

According to the press the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has allocated a total of 69.2 tons of West Coast rock lobster for the season.

Fishermen will be allowed to catch from 08.00 to 16.00 each day, with a limit of four lobster per person.

The season officially closes of 2 April 2018.

“Egypt is an example of what African countries can do for themselves without European influence.”

So says an article in the Cape Times this week commenting on the New Suez Canal constructed in response to increased world trade in 2014.

Taking only a year to build and running parallel to the original one, the project cost $8 billion, an amount raised by the Egyptian people in only eight days with the help of a bank opened especially for these contributions. Citizens of the country contributed to the project from their own pockets.

The New Suez Canal is aimed at increasing the Egyptian national income in foreign currency – an idea which South Africa could certainly take on board.

According to the press this week South Africa is leading the way in tuna fishing. Thus far little attention has been paid to the well-managed tuna fisheries sector amongst the many other activities that DAFF manages.

According to the article, in the world of tuna management, South Africa is fast emerging as a leading light and a role model looked up to by many developing nations.