Weekly Press Review – 31 August 2012

It has been quite a busy week in the maritime industry and various stories have made it into the press.

The Cubal, a 285 metre long LNG tanker, is at anchor in False Bay for repairs to its engine. The ship, designed to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG), is one of the most valuable visitors to anchor in our bay with a price tag of around $202 million.

According to reports, the vessel was given permission to anchor at False Bay by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and regional manager, Dave Colly said that it would not be a long stay as the engines required only minor repairs.

On the policing front, thanks to the efforts of officials of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) 22 suspects are to appear in courts in both Cape Town and Hermanus this week.

News of the most recent arrest, details four men being arrested for abalone poaching on Robben Island on Friday. DAFF spokesman, Lionel Adendorf described how the arrest turned violent and his team was forced to fire at the engines of the rubber duck used by the poachers who, in attempting to avoid arrest, ‘rammed’ the Fisheries Protection vessel. 416 units of abalone were found on the rubber duck.

By all accounts it would seem that policing our waters continues to be a challenging and dangerous task.

There is more discussion and unhappiness surrounding the quota system in the press this week as a group of women from Meermin Visserye seek the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to cancel an agreement with Compass Fishing Enterprises to fish on their behalf.

The women, who have a 15-year quota worth approximately R1.5 million to fish anchovies and pilchards, allege that they have not been able to capitalise on the full income generated by their quota due to issues with Ricky Donaggi, director of Compass Fishing, and his company; and have asked the department to withdraw all fishing permits issued to Compass Fishing to fish on their behalf.

Lionel Adendorf, spokesman for the Fisheries Department said that the department was committed to carrying out the wishes of the shareholders.

Let us hope that the real issues are addressed in this story and that the women can earn a living from the ocean in accordance with the quotas they control.

Finally some good news: South Africa has joined only a handful of countries, namely: Canada, Norway and Australia, in successfully integrating women into their submarine unit. Up until a few years ago any position aboard a submarine was regarded as ‘too dangerous and scary for women’, but now the SA Navy has successfully integrated 14 fully qualified women submariners: two chefs, one communicator, five mechanical engineers, artisans and a radio operator.

That’s a good story to end off women’s month on.

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