The handing down of the first jail sentence under the Marine Living Resources Act has made headlines this week, with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) applauding the outcome.
Huang Zhanyang and Pow Kekun of China pleaded guilty to charges of operating an illegal fish-processing establishment and the illegal possession of abalone. They were sentenced to three years in jail by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court.
The department was quoted as saying, “This sentence will serve as a major deterrent to anyone who is currently involved in the illegal harvesting, transporting, processing and exporting of our valuable and exploited marine resources, and it gives new impetus to our campaign to protect and grow our marine resources.”
Kreef divers are responding to the new shorter kreef fishing season in the press this week. Several divers interviewed at Rooiels said that bad weather and murky waters would now no longer have any impact on whether or not to dive.
The season has been shortened from 26 to 21 days and the quota has been dropped from 83 to 69 tons.
Today is World Fisheries Day. The day is marked around the world by fishing communities through rallies, workshops, public meetings and workshops; all designed to highlight the importance of maintaining the world’s fisheries. The day also serves as a reminder of the importance of water and the many, many lives that are sustained by our oceans.