An amendment to the Marine Living Resources Act now allows small-scale fishers to form co-operatives. According to the press a group of approximately 100 fishers gathered in Langa this week to register a co-operative.
The hope is that this system will allow fishing communities to benefit with the formation of co-operatives.
However, the general feeling amongst local fishers is that there is little hope of this new system actually working. “You cannot grant a permit to someone who lives in Johannesburg because he is a commercial fisher instead of a traditional fisher like me. You are inviting poaching.
“How do I live without fishing as it is the only trade I have known my whole life. I will go to the sea at night and steal,” said 67-year old traditional fisher Bhekumzi Mhlongo.
According to Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) small-scale fisheries management director, Craig Smith, Langa was the first of 280 communities in the country to register for co-operatives.
After registration it will be determined how many of these fishers meet the selection criteria. They will then be assisted by DAFF to apply for small-scale fishing rights in November.
“We want one small-scale fishing co-operative per community,” said Smith adding that DAFF hoped to create a fundamental shift in its approach to the small-scale fishing sector.
The Two Oceans Aquarium has asked people to be on the look out for baby loggerhead turtles washing up on local beaches. According to the press between April and June each year juvenile loggerhead turtles wash up along the Western Cape coast, particularly at Struisbaai and Yzerfontein.
Last year the aquarium rescued and rehabilitated a record 200 turtles and they are hoping to achieve the same success rate this year. They have asked beachgoers to please not return the young turtles to the water, but rather to pick them up and deliver them to the Two Ocean Aquarium or any other local animal rehabilitation centre.
They do not need to be kept wet as they are often suffering from hypothermia. Aquarium spokesperson, Renee Leeuwner, asks that people keep the young turtles warm and dry and deliver them in a container with ample air holes. It is also important to note where exactly the turtle was found.
These young turtles can take over a year to rehabilitate