With a few delays in getting our Weekly Press Review out over the last month, herewith please find a wrap up of the media coverage of the maritime industry during June (since our last post of 7 June 2013).
During the week ending 14th June, The African Marine Debris Summit wrapped up in Kirstenbosch, Cape Town and although it did not really feature much in the press, one can’t help but feel that it should have.
In her opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi said, “Marine debris is not just an unsightly issue having a negative impact on tourism and human health but it is also responsible for deaths of a myriad of the creatures that inhabit the marine environment.”
Waste finding its way into our oceans is an ever-growing concern. Hopefully summits like these will not only draw attention to the problem, but also provide some possible solutions.
During the following week, the big news making headlines was the final outcome of the case against Hout Bay fishing magnate, Arnold Bengis, his son David and their overseas partner, Jeffrey Noll. The case, which has taken many years to reach this final stage, was brought against the three men for illegally exporting large amounts of west coast rock lobster from South Africa to the United States.
The United States has ordered that they pay an amount of R294 million in restitution to South Africa.
Desmond Stevens, acting head of fisheries for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said, “It is a huge amount of money. South Africa’s biggest restitution in illegal fishing.” He hoped that the money would be put into the Marine Living Resources Fund to assist with the fight against poaching.
You may have seen the article written by Shaheen Moolla in our March/April issue which highlighted where he thought the money should go.
Although a slow process, it is good to see that those who try to steal and cheat and abuse our marine resources do eventually have to pay the price. And what a price.
Now we wait to see where that R294 million goes.
During the last week, the maritime industry celebrated International Day of the Seafarer.
June 25 marked the International Day of the Seafarer. This year IMO, together with United Nations, celebrated the day with a campaign entitled: Faces of the Sea. The idea behind the campaign was to encourage both individuals and organisations to use social media as a means to highlight various activities at sea, through photographs and messages, and in this way acknowledge seafarers from around the world, celebrating them and thanking them for their efforts at sea.
In this way it was hoped that the sheer diversity and scale of products used in our everyday lives that travel by sea would be highlighted and that the 1.5 million seafarers that make this possible would be recognised for their tremendous efforts.
A clever use of the world of social media to support a group of men and women who often go unrecognised despite their valuable contribution, often made in less than ideal conditions.
Die Burger picked up on the initiative a ran a great story on some of South Africa’s seafarers.