Fishers plan mass action

2014-01-14 00:00

MASS action is planned in the near future in an attempt to cement the rights of local anglers to cast their lines into Grunter Gully in Durban harbour.

This was one of the decisions taken at a public meeting held by the KwaZulu-Natal Subsistence Fishermen Forum at the Arena Park Mosque, Arena Park, Chatsworth, on Sunday afternoon.

A report-back was given at the meeting, which was attended by around 300 people, on the current status of fishing at various points in and around Durban harbour such as Grunter Gully, Round Bush, and North and South Pier, for those with the necessary permits.

This follows the withdrawal last April of a ban on fishing in the harbour imposed by Transnet National Ports Authority in 2009. Now fishing is allowed in certain areas conditional on possession of a Transet permit.

According to forum committee member Logan Moodley, discussions are still under way with regard to fishing from North Pier where the main concern is how to integrate the interests of anglers and other members of the public who use the area.

The harbour area from the Bat Centre to Wilson’s Wharf area falls under the control of the municipality and not Transnet, said Moodley, consequently a Transnet permit is not required but one issued by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The waters at Round Bush adjacent to the container terminal are currently closed as Transnet is undertaking a security study to determine if fishing would impact on the security of the terminal where there was a recent break- in.

“It is not known at this stage whether fisher folk were involved,” said Moodley.

Fishing is allowed at the South Breakwater but only in certain areas. However signs indicating the areas have not been put up as yet.

“Until they are you can fish the whole area,” said Moodley, “but once the signs are up you must abide by the signage.”

Permission has been given by Trans­net to fish in Grunter Gully said Moodley however enforcement agencies, such as SAPS, appear not to have been informed of this and are still enforcing the ban. “It still needs to be officially opened,” said Moodley.

A call was made for a show of hands from those with permits willing to undertake mass action to force the issue and around a hundred people indicated they were willing to go and fish at Grunter Gully and if told to stop would refuse.

No date was given for the mass action but Moodley said it would be in the next “two or three weeks”.

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