Police are investigating the robbery of a Gansbaai perlemoen packing and export enterprise. It is believed that the robbery was an inside job.
According to the press nine men arrived at the premises just after 11pm on Sunday night, showing a police identity card in order to gain access to the property. They then loaded a minibus with an unknown quantity of perlemoen and left the premises, taking three security guards with them. The guards were found unharmed in the Mitchell’s Plain area on Monday.
The company remains closed while the incident is under investigation.
A letter in the Cape Times this week written by Professor Kevern Cochrane, professor of ichthyology and fisheries science at Rhodes University, addressed the recent and ongoing protests by small-scale and nearshore fishers regarding concerns about possible reductions in the allocations of West Coast rock lobster in the 2017/2018 season.
According to Cochrane the protests centre on two main issues: the total allowable catch of rock lobster for the coming season and how that will be allocated between the small-scale, nearshore, commercial and offshore commercial sub-sectors.
Cochrane expressed his concern regarding the response to these issues by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
“Rock lobster is a vital resource for thousands of fishers on the West Coast and it would be a disaster for them, as well as for the ecosystem, if the department allowed this already threatened species to decline further.
“History will judge whether the department was able to provide the leadership and guidance to reverse the current decline,” says Cochrane, offering four key steps that he feels the department should take in order to fulfil its social, economic and ecological mandate for this species and the dependent fisheries.
- Senior management must respect and adhere to the scientific advice on the TACs,
- vague promises that controls will be increased in the future are insufficient,
- the department should urgently convene a working group, and
- options consistent with the goals of South Africa’s fisheries policy ned to be identifies, while minimising harm to those who bear the brunt of the necessary reductions in some quotas.