Transnet cautions fishermen

2015-10-07 21:43
(Picture: iStock)

(Picture: iStock)

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Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal fishing forum's plan to embark on rolling mass action will do little to alter fishing regulations, the Transnet National Ports Authority has said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Transnet National Ports Authority manager Moshe Motlohi said they were "aware of the KZN Subsistence Fishermen’s Forum’s intention to embark on rolling mass action in protest against fishing restrictions in the Port of Durban".

"During our last engagement with the KZN Subsistence Fishermen’s Forum in March 2015 we informed them of the areas that were open for fishing and we also indicated those areas that were not open to fishermen. They requested this feedback in writing and we provided it."

Motlohi said the port authority had upheld the ban on fishing along the North Pier, which has been earmarked for tourism development. He added the area would also maintain the "safety sensitive Grunter Gully and Round Bush which is an environmentally sensitive area that is also home to mangroves and fish nurseries".

Motlohi said in 2009 and again in 2013 the KwaZulu-Natal Subsistence Fishermen Forum took the matter to the Port Regulator of South Africa, arguing that the restrictions infringed on the subsistence fishermen’s right to food and freedom.

"The Port Regulator ruled that the subsistence fishermen should be recognised as port users, but did not make any ruling on the merits of the subsistence fishermen’s contentions relative to where fishing should take place.

"In confining fishing to designated areas within the Southern Breakwater and Victoria Embankment, we believe we have balanced the needs of members of the forum, other port users and tenants, and the need to protect environmentally sensitive areas," said Motlohi.

He added: "We urge fishermen to abide by the terms and conditions of their fishing permits and to fish only within the designated areas," said Motlohi.

Read more on:    durban  |  marine life

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