This week’s marine-related press reports focused on the make-up of the Fisheries Minster’s advisory panel which consists of Julian Smith, Mamakhe Mdhluli and Shaheen Moolla.
Lya Louw, founder of the Meermin Visserye CC in Lamberts Bay has voiced her concern about Moolla, of Feike Natural Resource Management Advisers, being on the Ministerial Appeals Advisory Panel which deals with appeals arising out of the 2013 Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP).
She feels that Moolla will not be able to remain unbiased as his family has interests in the fishing industry. In 2012 Moolla was associated with the fishing company Meermin who approached him for assistance in the management of a 15-year fishing quota. Moolla was Meermin’s legal representative for the sale agreement and Louw feels that the fact that Moolla’s wife was one of the respondents represents a clear conflict of interest.
Moolla has responded by saying that in the Meermin transaction, he merely served as a legal adviser and prepared the agreements and related documents.
“There is nothing that prevents my family from investing in the fishing industry as it is a sector we understand and know,” said Moolla.
Steve Galane, spokesman for Minister Senzeni Zokwana, said that Moolla had been appointed because of his knowledge and experience in the fishing sector.
Galane added, “The Minister is happy with the work of the Appeals Advisory Team that has started working on the appeals. Minister Zokwana would like to see this process coming to finalisation.”