Weekly Press Review – 31 May 2013

The Seli 1 is back in the news this week. The SA Navy resumed the blasting of the vessel earlier in the week and a fuel tank was damaged resulting in a spill of light bunker fuel. As a result, the city restricted public access to the sea in the Blouberg area and the press started to nose around.

City disaster risk management spokesman, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said that a helicopter crew had been dispatched to monitor the spill but, at present, there was no danger to the coastline or marine wildlife.

One must ask why there were no protective measures in place during the blasting? This is, after all, a public beach with a large marine wildlife presence. One also has to presume that, had a commercial entity been contracted to undertake the wreck removal, very stringent measures would have had to have been in place before any form of blasting was permitted.

West coast rock lobster is also back in the news this week, but this time not linked to the rights allocation process. Sadly, our very South African kreef has been downgraded from “green” status to “orange” status on the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) list. This means that when you now order rock lobster in a restaurant, from an environmental perspective it has gone from “best choice” to “think twice”.

The Spanish Navy vessel Rago is visiting our shores this week. The combat frigate is part of the EU naval force’s anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa and earlier this month was involved in the capture of several suspected pirates. The 10-day visit is designed to provide the crew with a short rest period and also to strengthen ties with the SA Navy.

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