SEA FISHERIES AND MARINE AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT
BAD AND CORRUPT FISHERIES MANAGEMENT:
- During the last fifty years, mismanagement of the quota system has brought almost to extinction our hake ( in 2005 80% were undersized) and pilchards – they have partial responsibility for the loss of our bluefin tuna and now yellowfin tuna, kingklip. Perlemoen/abalone is facing extinction. The West Coast Rock Lobster is now at 3.1% and falling.
- Poaching is out of control and the Minister of Fisheries (for reasons that make many of us very suspicious) has ensured that the compliance vessels and staff that are meant to control overfishing, do not go out to sea!
- The seabeds are allowed to be destroyed by trawling which is a hugely wasteful method of fishing since the by-catch are the fish whose bodies get ruined as the nets get dragged along. Bycatch (wasted fish because of damage against the nets) is almost ½ the tonnage caught.
- Long line fishing is also permitted, which kills our seabirds, and frequently come adrift and sink to the bottom, the fish rot, the line rises again and ghost lines catch and sink again and again.
- The gill nets are netting even the youngsters which are never getting the opportunity to grow up and breed. Generally, all our fish are in serious decline. Hence the soaring price.
- Foreign fishing ships which decimate our stocks are given permits.
- People who have no history of or knowledge of fishing are given quotas because quotas are worth a lot of money and are a good tool for corruption!
- No consideration has been given to creating huge marine reserves in which no fishing is permitted to protect juvenile fish and to allow them to grow up and breed. Existing marine reserves have fishery favourites allowed in, to fish them out.
- Fishermen are allowed to carry guns and shoot seals to cut out competition for the fish. Eliminating top predators in any ecosystem always spells disaster. Seals have been chased out of their traditional breeding grounds and baby seals which cannot go to sea for 6 months are being born on land where no protection exists.
- Seals have been chased off all their old breeding offshore islands like Robben and Dyer and as a result thousands of cubs are being swept off the 10 hectares (less than 1%) of offshore island that they are allowed to breed on. All this in favour of the rich fishing bosses who don’t want competition from seals.
- Two extremely wealthy businessmen, Neethling and Du Preez, have made their fortunes in Nat days through plundering of the seas. They and several huge corporations are still the main beneficiaries of the plunder.
- The traditional fishermen who know far more about sustainable ways of fishing are being sidelined and living in poverty to accommodate the greed of the rich.
- Marine and Coastal (Mis)management have been bankrupt for 5 years due to dubious abuse of funds by Monde Mayekiso who was suspended for incompetence and corruption and then reappointed in 2005 by Marthinus Van Schalkwyk.
- This last year they ran at a loss of 29 million, but reflected a profit due to the offsetting of fines of 80 million for poached perlemoen that they had failed to prevent being poached.
- So bad is the control of the West coast rock Lobster Fishery that from 1987 to 2001, Hout Bay fishing exported to the USA alone over half a billion rand of lobster 93% of which was not legal
- UCT studies have found that poaching is increasing by an average 53% per year from 2010 to 2012
Putting our precious fish into the hands of the greedy and the ignorant is a legacy of representative government, where those that control have no love for sea creatures, no caring for the lot of the ordinary fisherman, and limited knowledge
GREEN PARTY AND BRAVE GREEN WORLD PROPOSE
- The government should not control our natural resources especially not our fish.
- Until effective controls are put in place, no fishing by any mechanised means e.g.traps, trawling, longline fishing should be suspended. During this time we cease to export at all so that our own people can enjoy the fish we catch..
- The USA law No species should be allowed to be fished if it is below 50% of its maximum sustainable yield must apply here. Most of our fisheries are below 20% of pristine where pristine is the level of fish before man started fishing.
- Large new marine reserves need to be created and protected at the mouth of most rivers.
- Dams need to have spillways at the bottom to allow the nutrient-rich sediment to reach the river mouth where most fish breeding grounds are situated.
- Foreign fishing vessels must be banned immediately. They have decimated other countries fish and now they are here decimating ours.
- The fisheries need to be independently monitored by us the people on a volunteer basis for the meantime. Fisheries currently are monitored by people paid for by the big fishing industries This is crazy. It is setting a thief to catch himself. The fisheries must always be independently monitored. A rotation of volunteers from the public should be on each boat going out.
- High tech underwater research needs to be done of species bio-counts and also water contaminants.
- We will ensure that Fisheries satellite surveillance of all vessels is independently monitored and absolutely controlled. There have been some vessels apprehended but many get away with going out to sea unmonitored and they dump at sea.
- Surveillance of all parts of our coast where vessels can put ashore is essential.
- Geigocounter checks should be done of all fish in case the radioactivity from Fukushima that has contaminated the North Pacific ocean and wiped much sea life there out or made it too radioactive to be safe to eat eventually reaches us. (WE MUST CLOSE KOEBERG)