Weekly Press Review – 20 March 2013

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is in the news again this week with the appointment of Desmond Stevens as chief director of marine resource management. Although his appointment is only in an acting capacity, he is being described as poorly qualified for the position; with no tertiary degree and, more importantly, no fisheries management expertise. His previous position at DAFF was head of ‘stakeholder engagement.’

Running the fisheries department, particularly in its present state, is a hugely complex task and one must wonder whether Stevens is up to the job. Fisheries consultant, Shaheen Moolla thinks not. ‘It is not appropriate for him to be appointed. We are in such trouble in fisheries already. They’re not doing vessel patrols, vessels aren’t doing the research they should be doing and the cherry on the top is to put someone with no expertise in fisheries management in charge of the country’s fisheries.’

We shall have to wait and see whether poor Mr Stevens sinks or swims.

Blouberg beach is still closed to the public as the navy resumes its efforts to destroy the wreck of the Seli 1. The team is now trying to remove the last of the oil on board the wreck. Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesman, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, said that marine life in the area would not be affected.

And yet … over five tons of dead mullet washed up at the mouth of the Milnerton lagoon over the weekend. Although no definite link has been made, it was at first speculated that the deaths were caused by oil leaking from the Seli 1 wreck. Wilfred Solomons-Johannes was again quoted, saying that at this point they were unsure what had caused the deaths of the fish, but that ‘it is suspected that it is linked to the high temperatures that were experienced this past week.’

You be the judge.

In a bizarre story, but an angler taking part in a tag and release competition over the weekend was bitten by the shark that he had caught and was attempting to release. Kobus Stofberg was hospitalised after being bitten on the leg by the 1.5 metre ragged tooth shark.

Although this was a tag and release contest, it would seem that this particular shark was not playing along. Sometimes nature does bite back!


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