FRANTIC calls were made by Ansteys and Brighton Beach users to South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) last Thursday alerting them to a fishing trawler that had been spotted fishing close to the shoreline.
Desmond D’Sa from SDCEA reported said that in 2017 18 Chinese trawlers had allegedly switched off their sonar devices to fish undetected along the coastline.
That year hardly any marine life was evident in the ocean as fishermen complained bitterly that there were no sardines and other species of fish that usually follow the shoal during the winter season.
“The patrol vessels based in Simon’s Town and Cape Town were only able to apprehend one Chinese trawler and were unable to stop the trawlers laden with fish leaving our coastline undetected,” he said.
D’Sa said 2018 had seen lots of sardiens and other species of fish to the shoreline enabling more than 20 000 fisherfolk whose livelihoods depend on the ocean to put food on the table.
“We were promised by the Department of Fisheries that control of the patrol boats that secure our coastline would leave Cape Town for Durban, however Mr Andile Moshane, head of the fisheries’ Cape Town office, confirmed telephonically the next day that there are no patrol vessels anywhere else other than Cape Town.
We are shocked that the entire Indian Ocean coastline does not have any security and has to rely on patrol vessels out of Cape Town to intercept, investigate and deal with whatever violations take place in our ocean waters,” said D’Sa.
“We need to understand why these boats are located in Cape Town and not strategically in Durban and other ports,” said D’Sa.
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