Law prevents fishing rights rolling over

2013-12-27 00:00

FORMER adviser for SA’s natural resources and MD of Feike Natural Resource Management Advisers in Cape Town, senior advocate Shaheen Moolla, said any fishing rights allocated before December 31 would be meaningless.

“No ‘right holder’ will be able to go fishing on January 1, 2014, as the department has still not gazetted the fees for the granting of fishing rights, and fishing permits must still be applied for and issued under section 13 of the Marine Living Resources Act. Fishing permits take at least seven working days to issue,” said Moolla.

“And of course for a valid and lawful grant of fishing right gazette to be adopted, a draft must first be published for public comment.

“And both the draft and final gazettes can only be published with the concurrence of the Finance minister,” he said.

Spokesperson for fisheries Alieya Haider said yesterday the process to publish Grant of Fishing Right Fees was under way, but a date on which the interim permit cost will be published had not been fixed yet.

The Department of Fisheries had been working on new long-term commercial fishing rights for eight years, but there is still no sign when the process will be finalised.

With many fishermen hoping the fishing rights will just roll over at month end, Moolla pointed out section 18 of the Marine Living Resources Act does not permit this.

Moolla blogged last week it was “a great sadness how cadre deployment of appallingly unqualified and unskilled, but loyal, ANC members to the top management posts at the Fisheries Department” had delayed for eight years the transformation of fisheries management in South Africa.

“The 2013 right allocation debacle only takes us back to the previous century and the chaos that defined every annual allocation in the late nineties.

“Make no mistake, this retardation and chaos will clearly benefit certain persons and that is becoming increasingly clear,” blogged Moolla.

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