Question NW169 to the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

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19 July 2019 - NW169

Profile picture: Lorimer, Mr JR

Lorimer, Mr JR to ask the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

(1) Whether her department appealed the Western Cape High Court ruling against fishing quotas for West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL); if so, what a‹e the details of procedure in this case; if not, (2) Whether the court action will go ahead; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) Whether, in light of the ruling, she has found that the total allowable catch figures are for WCRL quotas ears improperly set; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) On what scientific data did her department reply when it set the total allowable catch levels for WCRL (5) What steps has her department taken to stop the decline in the WCRL number to prevent it from becoming extinct?

Reply:

  1. Yes. However the department subsequently withdew the appeal application on 10
  2. The court action will not proceed as the department has withdrawn the appeal lodged against the ruling.

  3. I am guided in this matter by the court judgement wherein the judge bund, intar alia that: '..the 2017/18 TAC detorninaton of termination of 1924.08 tons waa unlawful....". The judge saw, among other things, the fact that the decision-maker failed b have egaxl B mandatory objectives and principles concerning the need for lobster to be potected from over-exploitation and for the exploitation of lobster to be ecologically sustainable. However, the judge stopped short of instructing the Department to reduce the TAC allocation as the 2017/18 West Coast Rock Lobster season had already closed.
  4. I am advised by the Department that the data considered in the scientific recommendation included:

(a) Commercial Catch Per Unit of Effort(CPUE);

(b) Somatic Growth Rata

(c) Fisheries Independant Monibring Survey(FIMS) Indices; and

(d) Poaching eatimatas.

(5)(a) West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) has been identified as one of the two priority species with a recovery plan and stately in place

(5)(b) These are improved eeea«›h and compliance efforts as well as a move forwards ensuring more effective cooperation with various lawenforcement agencies B reduce the levels of poaching. The Department has, through the Chief DiecBrate: Monitoring Control and Survaillance (MCS), embarked on a number of nearshore enforcement efforts to the WCRL and abalone sectors. This has been augmented by Operation Phakisa joint operators in partnership with South African Police Services (SAPS), the Department of Transport (Taxes), the Department of Home Affairs and various Municipal Metro Police.

Regards

MB B D CREECY, MP

MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES

DATE:....!.... . .. .

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