Weekly Press Review – 12 April 2013

The leader of the Green Party, Judith Sole, is back in the news this week with her third attempt to stop the fishing of West Coast rock lobster off the shores of the Western Cape with immediate effect. She has failed twice due to not properly following the letter of the law. According to Shaheen Moolla, managing director of Feike, her cause is a just one, but she has simply gone about things the wrong way. He feels that success lies not in stopping the fishing of West Coast rock lobster altogether, which would result in the loss of thousands of jobs, but rather on focusing on Minister Joemat-Pettersson’s interference in the total allowable catch process.

It would seem that Sole does have support for her cause, but persists in pursuing legal action without legal assistance. This is ultimately a waste of our busy courts’ time. Get a legal team, get legal advice and bring about permanent change in a way that is positive for everyone involved.

The big ‘green’ maritime news of the week is the declaring of Prince Edward and Marion Islands as marine protected areas. The announcement was made earlier this week by Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa. The two sub-Antarctic islands are about 2,000km south of Cape Town and are regarded as a ‘global biodiversity hotspot.’ Declaring them a marine protected area means that the islands will have a 12 nautical mile zone in which no fishing will be allowed. The aim is to preserve the unique island ecosystems and to help endangered populations recover.

Although this is great news for the area surrounding these islands, it is a sad state of affairs when our oceans are abused to the point that we have to officially declare protected areas in a bid to slow down their degradation.

The Queen Mary 2 gracefully sailed into the harbour and docked at Cape Town this week. She is on her way to Southampton to complete a 109-day around-the-world-cruise. She has only one three-day stop on her journey and cruise passengers chose Cape Town as their number one stop over choice.

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Weekly Press Review – 5 April 2013

South Africa’s patrol and research vessels are back in the news this week with the signing of a contract between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Damen Shipyards Cape Town for “emergency and urgent vessel repairs and maintenance.”

When questioned about the condition of the vessels, Gary Atkins, service and repairs manager at Damen, said that the ships were not damaged as such, but were merely suffering from a general lack of maintenance which has led to them “going out of class.”

The vessels need to meet the sea-worthy requirements of the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the ship’s insurers. The repairs will take place at Simon’s Town naval dockyard, using Damen staff and equipment only at an estimated cost of R5 million.

Now that Damen is on board, let us hope that these vessels can be repaired quickly and finally get back to the job that they are supposed to be doing: patrol and research.

A naval affair!

It’s not often, as an editor of a B2B magazine aimed at the maritime industry, that you receive a press release that really knocks you sideways. Let’s face it I am used to getting announcements relating to appointments, product launches, acquisitions and mergers, but today I literally did a double-take at a press release marketing the services of a discrete website offering to matchmake married individuals.

To their credit they had done some research and pitched the content directly at the maritime industry so it was not one of those spam emails that clog your junk box offering little pills with big benefits.

According to the press release married men need to be alert to the fact that their wives may be all too keen to visit the South African Navy festival this weekend in Simon’s Town because sailors apparently top the list of uniform-wearing hotties. Yes – “32 percent of women surveyed said that a sailor boy (sic) tops their sexual fantasy list”.

The press release goes on to inform that “Simon’s Town is full of sailors ready to conduct unofficial naval business especially after long bouts at sea”.

Interestingly the white uniforms of sailors put them in first place amongst uniformed men that women want to have an adulterous affair with. The top five places include

  • Sailors – 32 percent 
  • Commercial pilots – 26 percent
  • Airforce pilots – 19 percent
  • Firefighters – 15 percent
  • Police – 8 percent

As a magazine that derives its income solely from advertising revenue and necessarily passes on all such press releases to our advertising sales department for follow-up, my instinct in this case, however, was to manually assign it to the junkmail folder.  And so, despite the assurance from the lady who runs the website that female infidelity is on the rise I think there are probably other publications more suited to carry this message.

So don’t go eagerly paging through the next issue of the magazine hoping to find more details. But do remember to pop down to Simon’s Town for the popular annual Navy Festival.