Weekly Press Review – 16 November 2012

The big fishing news of the week is that the West Coast rock lobster season is open. The announcement was made by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Tuesday morning and the season will run from November 15 to April1, 2013.

In typical DAFF style though, many permit seekers have been unable to obtain their permits at the Post Office and have, in fact, been turned away, as post office employees did not know what to charge for the permits.

Fisheries department spokesman, Lionel Adendorf stated that the price for a permit had remained unchanged from last year’s price of R92 and that this information had been communicated to post office staff.

Another case of miscommunication.

Officials from the fisheries branch of DAFF communicated to parliament this week that the number of abalone being poached was high above the legal quota and that abalone had become ‘functionally extinct’, particularly in the area from Hawston to Hermanus. This means that there are too few abalone left to be able to sufficiently increase the population.

This situation comes as no surprise to people within the industry who have been warning of this eventuality for years. Unfortunately, too little has been done too late. Where does the responibility and, more importantly, the solution lie?

Very gingerly mentioned in the press this week was the fact that the research vessel, the Africana, is still in the naval dockyard in Simon’s Town under repair. There has been no official word as to when the vessel will be able to resume its work, but would that word be worth much anyway?

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