SA fishing resources under threat

2012-06-13 12:32

Cape Town - South Africa's fishing resources are under threat from overfishing and some industry players are working to improve sustainable fishing practices, a researcher has said.

"The answer is 'yes and 'no'. There are many industries out there acting really responsibly and it's about creating the incentive to do so," WWF SA Responsible Fisheries programme manager Dr Samantha Petersen told News24.

She said that some industries were ignoring sustainable practices and that they posed a threat to fish stocks.

"There are still a large number of industries that are overharvesting; many of the fisheries resources internationally and locally, are over exploited."

Calculation of the fishing resources is difficult because monitoring procedures are not in place, said Petersen, who won the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award on Migratory Species Conservation in 2008.


"How we calculate that is another significant challenge and I think it's something that going to come up at the forum today [Wednesday].

"One of the key challenges is the complete collapse of the South African Fisheries Observer Programme - a key component in delivering the information required to effectively manage our fisheries resources," she added.

Many in SA feel strongly about rhino poaching, but there are other less visible animals that don't generate much public sympathy like the Riverine Rabbit, Giant Golden Mole, and the Samango monkey because they are not as "visible" in the public imagination.

"The fact that our marine resources are out of sight out of mind is often why we don't capture the public's imagination. Poaching is a significant challenge but in many cases the drivers are very different to the rhino, for example," Petersen said, moments before her presentation at the Responsible Fisheries Forum in Cape Town.

The biggest challenge for us in South Africa is our inshore resources which are easily accessible from the coast and the state of many of our impoverished coastal communities is that they depend on these resources for their food security and their livelihoods.

Petersen said that poor socio-economic conditions often drive people in local communities into poaching, but she also conceded that the criminal syndicates exploit marine resources like abalone.

She argued that enforcement alone could not eliminate unsustainable fishing practices and that co-operative action was needed from all stakeholders in the industry.

"There's been this over-reliance I believe on the regulatory system and compliance and enforcement being the only solutions. There're limited resources that can be put into continuous enforcement. At the end of the day, what you need is the buy-in of the fishing industry to understand why these regulations are in place."

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  • Tony Lapson - 2012-06-13 12:46

    What is new? Our earth is under threat, but then again, "move along people, nothing to see here", keep consuming, keep distracted by your every-day struggle to make make money.

      Squeegee - 2012-06-13 13:47

      Terrible reporting. 'The answer is yes and no'. What is the question? 'There are still a large number of industries that are overharvesting; many of the fisheries resources internationally and locally, are over exploited." This statement does not really make sense as it stands.

  • Duane - 2012-06-13 12:55

    Snoek en brood maak die kinners groot

  • Ziggamann - 2012-06-13 13:10

    more fish farms then

      olivia.duplessis.1 - 2012-06-13 14:04

      Clearly you have no idea what happens at fish farms. The fish swim in their own filth and ingest it which means it ends in your body, they die due to lack of oxygen and gets used none the less. Before posting about fish farms do the research. They get fed crap that we ingest and increases the risk of cancers etc.

  • Mahomed - 2012-06-13 13:25

    What did they really expect when they let in so many chinese and japanese trawlers to take as much as they can from our oceans

      Matthew - 2012-06-13 14:55

      As far as the japanese goes,they shouldnt be allowed to fish in out waters at all!!! punishment for the dolphin harvesting that they get away with,as far as their own government some research and you'll see what i'm talking about.disgusting.The toughest guy in the entire comunity,when watching the documentary on this,was in tears at the shock of how and what goes on over there.scary stuff.and we are all to blame =/

  • olivia.duplessis.1 - 2012-06-13 13:46

    Maybe time to go vegetarian or vegan for a while if we don't want to do it permanently. I'm making the transition due to my own reasons but for the sake of our children we should think of the resources we are killing.

      Squeegee - 2012-06-13 13:57

      Your us hopefully includes a billion Chinese...

  • Loo - 2012-06-13 13:53

    WHERE is Zuma's ships .. cost us Billions in tax and bribe money doing WHAT !!!!!!?????

  • john.loveland.9 - 2012-06-13 14:18

    "The biggest challenge ... is our inshore resources ... and the state ... of our impoverished coastal communities is that they depend on these resources for their food security and their livelihoods". NO madam... The problem is fishing quotas given to "well connected" individuals, international fishing trawlers raping our seas and our "eastern" friends raping our shores. maybe its time that anyone immigrating to RSA needs some form of education or qualification. And this does not include running a corner cafe or fish drying unit.

  • melaniebagley.geen - 2012-06-13 14:19

    i agree to disagree, overfishing can definitly not be caused by local fisherman as they do not posess the necessry resources.This is more likely caused by the huge industrial giants & illegal fishing trawlers (capable of purchasing sophisticated fishing equipment)

  • Ed - 2012-06-13 15:18

    simple, blow the chinese/taiwanese/jap/spanish/porra boats out of the water. we have the subs, blow them to pieces. right now there are more than 12 of those greedy little jap/taiwanese trawlers in algoa bay sitting this cold front out.....grrrrr, they should not be here.

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-06-13 16:05

    Keep our resources to feed our people and kick the gluttonous far eastern trawlers out of our waters. Then again that would mean our crooked Government officials would loose out on their kickbacks for illegal fishing permits.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-06-13 23:58

    The problem is not the local fishermen - it's the massive trawlers from China, Japan etc.

  • adrian.barichievy - 2012-06-14 14:39

    Well if you want to see what Fruit and Veg City thinks of sustainable fishing check out the links bellow, boggles my mind:

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