Weekly Press Review – 18 January 2013

The Green Party of SA is in the news this week with its continued attempts to suspend all commercial fishing of West Coast rock lobster.

Leader, Judith Sole, lodged a court application in the Western Cape High Court this week to suspend all commercial fishing of West Coast rock lobster as, according to Sole, rock lobster is only at 3.1 percent of its stock levels and need to be increased by a minimum of 20 percent to meet international standards of best practise.

At the time of deciding the fishing rights of West Coast rock lobster for 2013, DAFF was made aware of this, but in an unprecedented occurance, decided to ignore the information. Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, along with fisheries deputy director, Greta Apelgren-Narkedien, are the official respondents in the case.

Sole has further requested that strict measures be implemented to protect West Coast rock lobster and that governement supply restitution packages to artisanal fishermen during the suspension period.

Unfortunately, Sole is once again acting without the assistance of legal council and, although her heart seems to be in the right place and her concerns are more than warranted, she will surely require some assistance when taking on the minister and her team.

Commodore Darren White, captain of the SAS Charlotte Maxeke, also made the news this week after a message that he placed in a bottle over two years ago and 1600 nautical miles away found its way back to him on our shores.

The surprising event occured when White, based in Argentina for exercise drills with South American navies, decided to place a photograph of his crew along with a message in a wine bottle and throw it over board to see what would happen.

What happened was that just over two years later it washed up on a Pringle bay beach where Heinz Modricky and his son discovered it; made contact with Commodore White and returned the bottle to him.

An unusual occurance indeed.


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