The big maritime headline of the week was the adoption of the Marine Living Resources Amendments Bill by the National Assembly. The bill was welcomed as a way of transforming the inequalities of the past.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson said that the legislation would realise her department’s goal of empowering small-scale fishermen and women and the communities that they come from.
Let us hope that that is in fact the case.
The slave ship, the Meermin was back in the news this week as a renewed interest in the vessel and its story have generated a greater public interest in the recovery of the wreck.
Jaco Boshoff, marine archaeologist at Iziko Museums said that there had been many extensive searches for the wreck over the years, but thus far, nothing had been recovered. He added, “At the moment, funding is what is preventing us from completing the search. It is, in a sense, like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Boshoff also admitted that sadly there is a chance that “as the historians state, the wreck does not exist anymore.”
Hopefully that is not the case as it would mean a huge waste of time, effort and money.