The Western Cape ANC has called for an immediate suspension of the provisional rights allocation of West Coast rock lobster, calling for an urgent engagement with Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) minister Senzeni Zokwana.
According to the press the party says that they have been flooded with desperate calls from communities along the West Coast, Cape Town, Overberg and the Southern Cape.
ANC provincial executive member Linda Moss says, “The fundamental flaw in this process is that DAFF has not declared what the total allowable catch (TAC) for this sector is …. Normally there is a consultation process regarding the TAC split every year.”
A senior Sasol executive has voiced concern saying that the government should immediately resolve the uncertainty around the introduction of clean fuel specifications in order to ensure the sustainability of an industry that is a significant contributor to job creation and economic growth.
According to the press Sasol executive vice president of energy business, Maurice Radebe says that the industry contributes 8.5 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP)
“Let us do our best to protect (the petrol and liquid fuels) industry for the sake of the economy,” says Radebe.
Long-term fishers from the West Coast rock lobster and abalone sectors gave a sigh of relief this week with the news that they have been exempted from applying for commercial rights for the 2016/2017 season.
According to the press the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) made the decision in order to enable it to process a “substantial number” of applications, including new entrants into the sector.
The department’s assessment team along with the delegated authority, require sufficient time to properly assess and evaluate the applications in the two fishing sectors.
Just in time for this year’s holiday season, 10 Cape Town beaches have achieved the highly valued Blue Flag status.
The press has made mention of the 10 beaches who have attained full Blue Flag status for the upcoming 2016/17 summer season. They are:
- Clifton 4th beach
- Camps Bay
- Fish Hoek
- Bikini Beach
Mayco member for community services, Anda Ntsodo, said that the City had worked hard to ensure that Cape Town’s beaches were clean, safe and full of fun activities for holidaymakers.
The Seli 1 is back in the news this week. The SA Navy resumed the blasting of the vessel earlier in the week and a fuel tank was damaged resulting in a spill of light bunker fuel. As a result, the city restricted public access to the sea in the Blouberg area and the press started to nose around.
City disaster risk management spokesman, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said that a helicopter crew had been dispatched to monitor the spill but, at present, there was no danger to the coastline or marine wildlife.
One must ask why there were no protective measures in place during the blasting? This is, after all, a public beach with a large marine wildlife presence. One also has to presume that, had a commercial entity been contracted to undertake the wreck removal, very stringent measures would have had to have been in place before any form of blasting was permitted.
West coast rock lobster is also back in the news this week, but this time not linked to the rights allocation process. Sadly, our very South African kreef has been downgraded from “green” status to “orange” status on the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) list. This means that when you now order rock lobster in a restaurant, from an environmental perspective it has gone from “best choice” to “think twice”.
The Spanish Navy vessel Rago is visiting our shores this week. The combat frigate is part of the EU naval force’s anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa and earlier this month was involved in the capture of several suspected pirates. The 10-day visit is designed to provide the crew with a short rest period and also to strengthen ties with the SA Navy.