Weekly Press Review – 5 February 2016

Two separate yachting tragedies have seen the safety of working sailors and tourists alike being called into question this week.  The disappearance of three sailors who went missing during a routine delivery of a luxury yacht (a year ago), as well as the death of two Irish tourists whose yacht ran aground near Melkbos have both made headlines this week.

Families of the missing sailors have called for an inquest after an upturned catamaran was sighted, but attempts to tow it into harbour failed and the hull was eventually lost at sea near Port Elizabeth.  The families want to establish fairer practices and enforced compliance with the legislation with the aim of ensuring increased safety for sailors.

In the grounding incident the death of two Irish tourists has led to an investigation into how this yacht ran aground and whether it had already capsized by the time it ran aground.

SAMSA has had surveyors on the scene and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The continued decimation of South Africa’s abalone has also made headlines this week.  According to the press we are losing the war on abalone poaching.  It is estimated that in 2014 a massive 7 million were poached at a cost of R1 billion.

These figures were presented at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Abalone Indaba held in Cape Town this week.

DAFF chief director Ceba Mtoba said, “It is time to shift gears.  Poaching has become the norm.”

Fisheries Management deputy director-general Siphokazi Ndudane said that the Marine Living Resources Act would be reviewed.

“The act is old.  It has no mention of poaching. Poaching has been overlapping under our watch over the years because of its ineffectiveness.  The act is no longer applicable.

“This indaba will form part of our paperwork to be presented to the president when amending the act,” said Ndudane.

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