Friday, 27 March 2009

Marine Protection,in defense of the South African fishing industry

The offshore patrol vessel SARAH BAARTMAN in Cape Town harbour. Picture IAN SHIFFMAN.

The effective deployment of the Environmental Protection Vessels (EPV's) during the past few weeks yielded significant results once again as poachers were arrested, boats seized and numerous poaching activities prevented, reports the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT).

During the latest voyage of the SARAH BAARTMAN, the inspectors, captain and crew of the offshore patrol vessel arrested a diver at Bird Island, scared off three superducks (rubber inflatables) thereby prevented abalone poaching, and fined three fishing vessels for contravention of fishing permit conditions.

The Sarah Baartman struck again soon afterwards this time confiscating a ski boat and arresting three suspects in the Kleinmond area for west coast rock lobster poaching. This arrest took place late at night and more than 20 crayfish traps, which were detected by the on-board equipment of the patrol boat, were also removed from the water. In a separate incident fines to the value of R13,250 were issued for contravention of fishing permit conditions in the St Helena Bay area.

A new fisheries protection vessel,the Ruth First.

Freshly caught Tuna fish

I have read that only two marine eco systems in the world exist that support such a wealth of marine life,one is in Austrailia,the other is here in South Africa.Daily I witness the evidence of this in our local Hout Bay Harbour,the Western Capes busiest by some margin? Recently the fisheries protection department have built three seriously sized vessels (Farocean built them) and we can now expect super service and top quality protection.

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