Weekly Press Review – 31 July 2017

This week Parliament’s portfolio committee on public works will conduct oversight visits to six harbours in the Western Cape, hoping to gain insight into the management of small harbours by the Department of Public Works.

According to the press, the harbours that will be visited are: Struisbaai, Arniston, Gansbaai, Gordon’s Bay and Kalk Bay.

In June the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) slowed the City’s plan to take control of some local harbours, citing the council’s proposed by-law for fishing harbours could not supersede the Marine Living Resources Act.

The City has responded by saying that it has no choice, but to forge ahead with its plans, and that it has the power to manage harbours in its jurisdiction.

A fisherman died after suffering a seizure on board a chokka fishing boat off the Eastern Cape coast over the weekend.

According to the press the NSRI responded to the incident.

“On arrival NSRI medics were put aboard the vessel and confirmed that the fisherman was deceased,” said NSRI Francis Bay station commander Sarah Smith.

Friday saw the return of millions of sardines from the Indian Ocean – an event which has not been seen for almost five years.

According to the press, each year during the southern hemisphere winter months throngs of fish lovers gather at the Kwazulu-Natal coastline in anticipation of the “Sardine Run.” In recent years the volume of fish has slowed quite dramatically, but early signs are that the great Sardine Run has returned.

Last week the maritime industry lost the highly respected old salt Captain Bill Damerell. Cape Times contributor, Brian Ingpen, said, “A giant cedar in the shipping industry has fallen.”

Our thoughts are with Captain Damerell’s family and friends.

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Weekly Press Review – 19 June 2017

South Africa’s Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) is once again in the news this week. According to the press the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has appointed a new, three-member advisory panel to assist Minister Senzeni Zokwana with the 2015/16 FRAP, which has caused much anger and frustration amongst local fishing communities.

Advocate Patric Mzolisi Mtshaulana, Dr George Mukundi Wachira and Thulani Joseph Sithole have been appointed to an advisory panel by the Minister to assist with the evaluation of appeals lodged against the decisions taken during FRAP 2015/16.

DAFF spokesperson, Bomikazi Molapo, says that Minister Zokwana intends to announce his decisions systematically and on a sector-by-sector basis over the coming weeks.  He will be starting with appeals lodged in the Hake Inshore Trawl Fishery followed by appeals lodged in the Patagonian Toothfish Fishery.

DAFF has also made headlines this week after pouring cold water on plans by the City to take control of some local harbours, citing the argument that council’s proposed by-law for fishing harbours cannot supersede the Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA).

The City has responded by saying that it has no choice but to forge ahead with its plans, saying that it has the power to manage harbours in its jurisdiction, as the constitution gives municipalities the exclusive competence to administer the functional areas listed in Schedule 5, Part B.

According to Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson, the move by the City came about after engagements with the Department of Public Works for the proper administration of harbours within the City’s jurisdiction proved futile.

The Department of Public Works has offered no response.