Weekly Press Review – 1 August 2014

Perlemoen rights are back in the press this week with Minister Senzeni Zokwana (DAFF) making the announcement that all existing perlemoen rights’ holders have been granted the right to continue fishing for another year.  The existing perlemoen rights expired on Wednesday.

Fisheries management consultant, Shaheen Moolla was quoted as saying that this is the ninth fishing sector to be given exemptions.  “What we are seeing is the farcical collapse of the fishing system to what it was in the 90s.”

In other news, the NSRI was called into action this week after various eyewitnesses reported seeing what looked like paraglider or microlight crashing into the sea near Sunny Cove.

Preparing for the worst, the NSRI launched a rescue vessel and headed to the scene, only to be greeted by 15 “Happy Birthday” balloons tied together and floating in the water about 15 nautical miles offshore.  Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander, said, “It is understandable that at the distances involved it looked like a crashing paraglider or microlight aircraft and the good intensions of the eyewitnesses is commended.”

A young subantarctic seal has also made the news this week after appearing in the water off Scarborough, a mere 2000km away from its home on Marion Island.  The seal is a little thin, so the SPCA has stepped in to help fatten her up and fit her with some high tech tracking gear to monitor her progress back to the island once she is released.

Fingers crossed that she makes it home.


Weekly Press Review – 14 March 2014

In a week where the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius has dominated every news outlet,  there has been little attention paid to anything else.

However, two heart warming maritime stories did manage to make this weeks headlines.  A dolphin duo, trapped in shallow water in the Langebaan Lagoon, were rescued thanks to the joint efforts of local rescuers and bystanders.

The two dolphins were spotted by kite surfers and, with the assistance of Wildlife Rescue in Kraal Bay as well as the national Sea Rescue Institute Mykonos,  were transported to the open water near Jutton Island.

As both dolphins seemed to be in good health and swam away confidently, experts are satisfied that they will survive the ordeal.

The SPCA also made the news this week after rescuing a young seal pup spotted heading up a canal towards a local kelp processing plant.  Factory employees in the area spotted the pup and called the SPCA who transported it back to Seal Island in a dog crate.  It is suspected that the pup’s mother left the island to gather food and the unattended pup simply swam off.

SPCA inspectors Gareth Petterson and Megan Reid were confident that the seal would be reunited with its mother as each pup has a unique call, which its mother would instinctively recognise.

Weekly Press Review

The issue of South Africa’s ship register was back in the press this week.  According to a report by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), South Africa’s ship register is largely regarded as “uncompetitive”, resulting in not a single merchant ship being listed.  “This means that South Africa’s economy and its security of trade are dependent on ships owned and regulated in foreign countries.”

According to the newspaper reports, the issue relates to South African companies choosing to flag their vessels in foreign jurisdictions.

SAMSA believes that If we want to see the South African maritime economy truly boom, we need to find a way to offer ship owners incentives to flag their vessels in South Africa. We believe the issue is not so black and white and will pursue this debate further in the magazine.

On a less serious note, but still maritime related, a large male fur seal caused some minor traffic congestion after wandering from the dunes to find some warmth on the tar of Baden Powell drive in Muizenberg.

The SPCA was called and Wildlife Unit manager Brett Glasby responded to the call.  “When I got there, the male seal was still lying in the middle of the road and traffic officials were diverting traffic around it.  I just used a beach towel to herd him over the dunes until the road was out of sight and he could see the ocean again.”

Looks like South Africa’s Big 5 could have a little competition from our maritime mammals.