Breede River fishing ban considered

2011-11-09 13:05
Cape Town - A ban on night fishing in the Breede River estuary is under serious consideration, Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Wednesday.

This was to protect juveniles and breeding stocks of dusky kob, she said in written reply to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance's Deetlefs du Toit.

Consultation was done through publishing draft regulations in the Government Gazette on September 16 and October 7, Joemat-Pettersson said.

"The moratorium will only be implemented after public comments have been considered. The closing date for public comments was set for 28 October 2011."

Du Toit asked in a separate question why the notice in the gazette on September 16 - indicating an indefinite ban on the catch of red steenbras - included a ban on recreational catches of this species.

Joemat-Pettersson replied that red steenbras was caught by both commercial and recreational fishers.

"The recreational fishery currently catches and lands more red steenbras than the commercial fishery.

"Therefore, the two sectors cannot be considered in isolation and the moratorium on red steenbras must apply to both for stock recovery to occur."

The red steenbras population was regarded as in "extreme conservation danger" as defined by the Linefish Management Protocol.

A moratorium on catching and landing red steenbras was first proposed more than five years ago and had since been debated among the SA Marine Linefish Management Association, Linefish Scientific Working Group, and Linefish Management Working Group.

The gazette of September 16 had allowed 30 days for public comment on the proposal. Concerned parties - commercial right holders as well as organised recreational fishers - had been consulted.

A final decision would be taken only after comments had been considered, the minister said.

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