Fisheries: Minister hits back at DA

2012-03-01 14:44

Cape Town - Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has taken issue with the Democratic Alliance for its criticism of her plan to relocate the fisheries branch to Pretoria.

The ministry has noted with "shock and dismay" a statement by the DA in response to her call to "foster unity in my department", she said.

On Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson told the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries portfolio committee that the department's fisheries branch - Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) - continued to work as an "island from the main body".

This created duplications with the head office's work, and painted a picture of MCM being an independent body not governed by her department.

She said that as it currently stood, MCM was biased towards the Western Cape, and mainly big business, over the rest of the country and the small fisherfolk.

'Lost the plot'

In a statement on Wednesday, DA spokesperson Pieter van Dalen said Joemat-Pettersson had "lost the plot".

"In her infinite wisdom", she had decided that the best way to turn around the performance of the MCM management unit was to relocate it to Pretoria from Cape Town, where it was based.

"Exactly how taking a coastal management unit away from the coast will help is difficult to fathom. Talk about a fish out of water," Van Dalen said.

"Do we need to remind Minister Joemat-Pettersson that 80% of commercial fishing activity takes place in the coastal region of the Western Cape?" he said.

"Does she expect fishermen to travel to Pretoria each time they have to apply for a permit?"

Van Dalen asked what would happen to the 7 000 MCM staff residing in Cape Town.

"This has clearly not been thought through properly," he said.

Level playing field

Joemat-Pettersson responded that Van Dalen had chosen to ignore her words "in their entirety", choosing to focus only on the call to relocate MCM from Pretoria to Cape Town.

Van Dalen's claim that 80% of commercial fishing activity took place in the coastal region of the Western Cape was both untrue and unsustainable.

"Yes, historically the previous government concentrated commercial fishing in the Western Cape [and] created this artificial strength," she said.

In the process, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were under-developed and the Northern Cape completely ignored.

If the playing field was levelled and fisheries spread across the country, the Western Cape would represent far less than 80% of commercial farming.

It was also important to note that the fishing stocks were depleted in the Western Cape and resources were being spread to other parts of the country, including in the rivers for aquaculture.

"All national departments are headquartered in Pretoria. This does not mean there is no provincial, regional, and local representation. This should also hold for fisheries and their representation should spread beyond only the Western Cape," she said.

  • S - 2012-03-01 14:59

    "historically the previous government concentrated commercial fishing in the Western Cape" Huh?! Is this woman for real? Does she have any clue about the sea or fishing? When I last checked, commercial fishing takes place where the fish is, and the fish refuse to go where the politicians tell them to go.

      David - 2012-03-01 15:06

      The Relocation of Fish Bill is to be tabled shortly.....

      DSBennie - 2012-03-01 15:10

      What is she saying, that the Apartheid government told the fish you cannot leave the Cape without a pass???

      eugene.meyer1980 - 2012-03-01 15:40

      Those fish are RACIST!!!!! Just aks yourself this...why wont they listen to the black government??? Its because they are RACIST!!!!!

      Michael - 2012-03-01 15:50

      @Stirrer are you suggesting there's no fish in KZN, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape?

      S - 2012-03-01 16:03

      Michael, there is a big difference between line fishing and pelagic fishing (google it). Pelagic fishing occurs in the cold waters of the Atlantic, the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean is more suited to line fishing. That's why 80% of the commercial fishing occurs around Cape Town and up the West Coast. As for the Northern Cape, yep, the West Coast forms its western border, and I'm sure there's some carp in the Gariep as well :D

      Fussed - 2012-03-01 16:23

      Well have you ever seen a black fish,besides there are bigger fish to catch in limpopo, right

      Rajesh - 2012-03-01 17:18

      You really don't get it- go do some research before you comment.

  • Fussed - 2012-03-01 15:01

    Reinvent the wheel till is broken Then move the broken wheel 5000km away for a quote to fix and make it is square and wont work EVER again as it was designed to do

  • David - 2012-03-01 15:04

    The fisheries have to be spread across the country. Does this include Upington?

      Fussed - 2012-03-01 16:19

      Well they may even build a harbour in Limpopo

  • Chris - 2012-03-01 15:06

    While they're at it Government must launch a probe into "Great Whites" in the seas, surely they are not representative of the country's demographics?

      Kala - 2012-03-01 15:15

      The term Great Whites is very un PC coupled with the fact that these sharks eat predominantly seals which are black in colour. As such the Department of Fisheries has decided to distance itself from this blatant flagaration of the Rainbow Nation and move its head quarters to Pretoria. It makes perfect sense.

  • stalin.rudolf - 2012-03-01 15:18

    Aiiii" you bloggers can really tickle a body. stop it already. never to lower yourselves to the level of politicians when it comes to logic. there is no logic in anything politically driven, "i say".

  • Vicky - 2012-03-01 15:26

    I wonder , was old PW, and those before him, fish-whisperers? That old Tannie Tina had to figure that out!! It is true then that even when the cat had kittens and the fish decided to only get caught off the coast of the western Cape, it was "The Previous Government's" fault… dat so 'n brein moet vrot..

  • Ben - 2012-03-01 15:34

    Ministers should have more brains than fish.

  • justin.schonegevel - 2012-03-01 15:39

    it is DA vs ANC. The ANC get it's Sushi from China so they not worried about our fish!

  • fritz.rossouw1 - 2012-03-01 17:59

    Goeie idee dan kan ons ons invoer permitte makliker kry lol

  • braamc - 2012-03-02 01:57

    She and Roux Shabango probably signed a deal

  • berni.venter - 2012-05-15 21:43

    Hit back with a wet snoek apparently...

  • Keith - 2012-05-15 21:56

    Look I think we should call for a fisherman spring this is crap

  • pages:
  • 1