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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