The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the decision to once again extend all long-term commercial fishing rights has made headlines this week. DAFF is apparently in need of more time to sort out the fishing rights allocation process in general and, therefore, existing fishing rights due to expire this year have been extended, in some sectors for up to one year.
The department said that the extensions would allow for a “well managed and transparent” allocation process. This news follows in the wake of the disastrous fishing rights allocation process (FRAP) of 2013 over which there was such an outcry that the then Minister of Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, called for a forensic audit. The ultimate findings of the audit were that the FRAP of 2013 had been legally faulty and that it was simply not possible to correct these faults. You can read more about the extensions and implications in the forthcoming issue of Maritime Review Africa.
The war against perlemoen poaching continues and it was reported in the press this week that another R1 million worth of illegally fished perlemoen was confiscated by police in Somerset West. A 26 year old man was arrested and taken in for questioning after 1958 perlemoen were found in his possession. His initial court appearance was set for this week.
The SA Agulhas II has returned from her 14 month mission to Antarctica. The vessel was photographed by various press agencies as she docked at the V&A Waterfront after fourteen months in Antarctica. On board was Christiaan Crous, member of the scientific research group Sanae 14 who was quoted as saying that the trip was unbelievable, but just too short.