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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Thanks for your posts Micetta and lee lewis! :thumbs_up:

As far as I know only approximately 1% of our oceans are marine protected areas!

Our oceans need drastic new protection areas to allow the marine environment to recover and species and habitats to flourish.

The scientific journal Nature has reported that only 10 percent of all large fish are left in the sea. This includes fish such as tuna, swordfish, marlin and the large ground-fish such as cod, halibut, skates and flounder. I have seen a program where it was stated that our oceanic fish stock will be depleted within the next 40 years. This is shocking and we all need to push for more and more marine protected areas.

Is there a possibility that we can get some feedback from SANParks on the rumor that a secretive process within South African National Parks (SANP) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is underway to open sections of the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA) to fishing?


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Travesty!! :evil: :evil: How can this even be contemplated? I just so wish I can wake up and all this detroying of everything natural was a nightmare, but I know that this is reality. I just hope I can one day show my kids something natural. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:34 pm 
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My day did not start well and now you have managed to make it even worse :evil: It is so frustrating :wall: Being a person of action, in this case my action is reduced to :wall: and it makes me feel inadeguate, helpless, demoralized, disheartened, depressed and ANGRY :evil: and that is not my preferred mood :x


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:06 pm 
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This is a letter that was issued by the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in 2007 after a decision was made on fishing in the Tsitsikamma MPA:

Quote:
Decision on Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area: Minister Maintains status quo

27 November 2007

The Tsitsikamma National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) is the oldest Marine Protected Area in Africa. Its marine life is one of our most important national assets. In addition, this MPA is a refuge for breeding populations of a number of over-exploited line fish species. The park and MPA are also major tourist attractions. It is visited by more than 200 000 people per annum.

In order to protect and grow marine resources local communities have, since 1975, been progressively excluded from fishing in the Tsitsikamma MPA. In 2000, because of the collapse in line fish stocks, my predecessor decided that no fishing whatsoever would in future be permitted in this MPA.

MPAs are a key part of our strategy to manage vulnerable eco-systems in a sustainable way. They are the life-support system critically needed to resuscitate ailing oceans and collapsing fish stocks. They provide a refuge for fish, and indeed all marine species, to increase in quantity, size and reproductive output. MPAs also increase catches outside reserves as juveniles migrate. Because of our determined and forward-looking approach, South Africa today counts amongst the world leaders in implementing the goals set at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development - 18% of South Africa's coastline falls within formal protected areas.

It is, inter alia, against this background that I duly considered recent proposals for the opening of parts of the Tsitsikamma MPA for recreational fishing. In considering the issues at stake, I met with local leaders and personally visited the area in October. I also requested Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) to advise me on the matter. DEAT recommended that limited fishing in the MPA be allowed, albeit on an experimental basis (for a period of 12 months) and exclusively to local fishers who are members of the local angling forum.

After careful consideration of this proposal, I have decided to uphold the status quo by not allowing any fishing in the MPA. The reasons for originally closing the MPA in 2000 and the prevailing underlying circumstances have not changed. It is important to note that this decision will not have an impact on food security in the area as the issue dealt with is a matter of recreational fishing.

At a fundamental level, the establishment of 'no-take' MPAs are in line with our well-considered and justified World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) commitments as well as our general fisheries management approach. We have a core responsibility to manage our fish stock sustainable for the benefit of future generations. In doing that, we must balance the need for equitable development today with the right of future generations to be able to do the same.

Opening this MPA to recreational fishing will set a dangerous precedent in a conservation area that is closed to all, for the benefit of all. Allowing a few people access for recreational purposes would negate the benefits that accrue to all South Africans. A decision to open this MPA would effectively have signalled a broader shift in policy on the part of government and the beginning of a new approach that is neither sustainable nor in line with our stated objectives.

In addition, opening the MPA would undermine its biological sustainability. Certain line fish species are already managed as an 'emergency.' The impact of catches in the MPA will lead to a decline in abundance because many of the resident fish species are slow growing. This, in turn, will reduce the effectiveness of the reproduction potential and distribution of eggs and larvae therefore diluting the pool of reproductive fish as well as the availability of fish outside of the MPA. Line fish catches in particular, have collapsed almost everywhere along our coastline. Simply put - there is insufficient breeding fish to replenish line fish stocks. Only MPAs hold these breeding fish in sufficient quantities to provide for new fish recruitment. If the MPAs themselves are opened to fishing, the entire national fishery will be further jeopardised.

Finally, it was also clear to me that, because of various practical constraints and peculiarities, it will be extremely difficult for effective compliance measures to be put in place to ensure that fishing activities comply with permit conditions. This will further expose the MPA to unnecessary risk.

In conclusion, opening the MPA will no doubt make a few people happy in the short-term. In the long-term, there will be a greater loss to the eco-system as a whole. That loss will be shared by many more South Africans. MPAs are a short-term sacrifice for a worthwhile long-term gain. Opening the MPA for the exclusive use by a few will bring into question the value of MPAs by the remainder of fisherfolk. I therefore call on local communities to respect this decision. It is in the interest of the whole nation and long term sustainable and equitable growth and development. In this instance I do not want to put at further risk the interests of fisherfolk who rely on line fish for a livelihood by giving access to recreational fishers to an important breeding ground of many of our line-fish species.

Enquiries:
Riaan Aucamp
Cell: 083 778 9923

Issued by: Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
27 November 2007


Here is the link: http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/2007/07112714151001.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I hope this is still the situation in 2010! Any feedback from SANParks on this issue? :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:32 am 
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TheunsH wrote:

Is there a possibility that we can get some feedback from SANParks on the rumor that a secretive process within South African National Parks (SANP) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is underway to open sections of the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA) to fishing?


No possibility as yet or is no news good news? :hmz:

Come on SANParks, I know you have the answers, so give it to me! :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:57 am 
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Hi everyone

I apologise for being a stranger :naughty:

I have forwarded your query to to the relevent people and will post a response as soon as they revert back to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Thank you Onkgopotse! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Dear forumites,

My apologies for the delay. I was not aware of this inquiry until a few minutes ago. Unfortunately I rarely have the opportunity to go through many of the different topics in this forum. Thanks to the Mods, I get to find out about some of them.

On the issue of fishing in Tsitsikamma NP, unfortunately no matter what we say as SANParks to the journalists or the lobbiests that go by different names they continue to give a different story. At the much reported meeting of the Deputy Minister with the community, which unfortunately due to insufficient explanation to a journalist on my part, was a reported as a meeting on fishing while in actual fact it was a gathering to celebrate Marine Week, the Deputy Minister did not broach the issue of fishing. However, as we had anticipated, members of the community in that area brought the matter up. The only promise the DM made was to bring up the matter with her counterparts at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries who are the ones that are now tasked with the responsibility of allocating fishing quotas. No decision was made at this meeting.

At the heart of this unending speculation at the moment is a document that the Regional GM of Garden Route sent to the CEO to bring him up to speed on the issues, as we had anticipated that this matter cannot possibly go unmentioned at the said meeting. The DM was last in that community when she promised that their decades long demand for fishing in the MPA would be addressed, and that actually they would be allowed to fish in the park soon. It would have then been ludicrous and irresponsible of us to expect that she can just go in there, even on an unrelated matter, and come out without the demand being made once more. Not knowing what nature the meeting would take then SANParks took out the original proposal that was put together by all the stakeholders involved at that time which led to the decision by then Minister to reject a decision on community fishing in the MPA. The Regional GM took the liberty of pointing out other new developments that would have to be considered in discussions if there is a decision to reconsider the community demands on the matter. The document had the unfortunate sub-title below the title saying "Briefing to CEO" of retaining the original title of proposal on the opening of the MPA. This has been explained ad nauseum to the media and the lobbyists and unfortunately it is my belief that no matter what I tell you if you have chosen to believe otherwise there is only one person who can change your mind, yourself. Hopefully these proponents of doom will eventually see the light.

Further to this I had also in the same media interviews indicated that if the matter ever comes up for consideration once again it would have to go through a similar consultative process as the last time. To my understanding that consultation included a broad number of stakeholders and not just SANParks, MCM (now Oceans and Coasts) and the community. Probably now we would have had a wider group of stakeholders and interested or affected parties if the matter had been opened up.

I cannot claim to know what the leadership of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will decide on the matter once the DM has forwarded the demand from the community. However, you can take comfort from the fact that this is still an MPA and the process I outlined above would still need to apply. Which would then mean that all parties would have an opportunity to have their say and to influence the decision. But I want to strongly caution us from preempting what DAFF will do.

I also want to take up this opportunity to point out that this matter of fishing in the Tsitsikamma MPA is probably something that will never die. It may continue to rear its head up every so many years as it has done since the establishment of the MPA. The communities in that area are aggrieved and claim that they were never consulted in this decision. Further to this there is real anger at the fact that there are 2 communities at the top and bottom borders of the MPA who continue to be allowed to fish and the community just does not understand any of the reasons we continue to provide on this arrangement. The unfortunate situation is that every time the community makes these demands there is a general hysteria that permeates through the ranks of those who are interested in the matter. Hopefully this will eventually come to an end.

Have a good day.

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Head of Communications
South African National Parks (SANParks)


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Dear forumites,

My apologies for the delay. I was not aware of this inquiry until a few minutes ago. Unfortunately I rarely have the opportunity to go through many of the different topics in this forum. Thanks to the Mods, I get to find out about some of them.

On the issue of fishing in Tsitsikamma NP, unfortunately no matter what we say as SANParks to the journalists or the lobbiests that go by different names they continue to give a different story. At the much reported meeting of the Deputy Minister with the community, which unfortunately due to insufficient explanation to a journalist on my part, was a reported as a meeting on fishing while in actual fact it was a gathering to celebrate Marine Week, the Deputy Minister did not broach the issue of fishing. However, as we had anticipated, members of the community in that area brought the matter up. The only promise the DM made was to bring up the matter with her counterparts at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries who are the ones that are now tasked with the responsibility of allocating fishing quotas. No decision was made at this meeting.

At the heart of this unending speculation at the moment is a document that the Regional GM of Garden Route sent to the CEO to bring him up to speed on the issues, as we had anticipated that this matter cannot possibly go unmentioned at the said meeting. The DM was last in that community when she promised that their decades long demand for fishing in the MPA would be addressed, and that actually they would be allowed to fish in the park soon. It would have then been ludicrous and irresponsible of us to expect that she can just go in there, even on an unrelated matter, and come out without the demand being made once more. Not knowing what nature the meeting would take then SANParks took out the original proposal that was put together by all the stakeholders involved at that time which led to the decision by then Minister to reject a decision on community fishing in the MPA. The Regional GM took the liberty of pointing out other new developments that would have to be considered in discussions if there is a decision to reconsider the community demands on the matter. The document had the unfortunate sub-title below the title saying "Briefing to CEO" of retaining the original title of proposal on the opening of the MPA. This has been explained ad nauseum to the media and the lobbyists and unfortunately it is my belief that no matter what I tell you if you have chosen to believe otherwise there is only one person who can change your mind, yourself. Hopefully these proponents of doom will eventually see the light.

Further to this I had also in the same media interviews indicated that if the matter ever comes up for consideration once again it would have to go through a similar consultative process as the last time. To my understanding that consultation included a broad number of stakeholders and not just SANParks, MCM (now Oceans and Coasts) and the community. Probably now we would have had a wider group of stakeholders and interested or affected parties if the matter had been opened up.

I cannot claim to know what the leadership of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will decide on the matter once the DM has forwarded the demand from the community. However, you can take comfort from the fact that this is still an MPA and the process I outlined above would still need to apply. Which would then mean that all parties would have an opportunity to have their say and to influence the decision. But I want to strongly caution us from preempting what DAFF will do.

I also want to take up this opportunity to point out that this matter of fishing in the Tsitsikamma MPA is probably something that will never die. It may continue to rear its head up every so many years as it has done since the establishment of the MPA. The communities in that area are aggrieved and claim that they were never consulted in this decision. Further to this there is real anger at the fact that there are 2 communities at the top and bottom borders of the MPA who continue to be allowed to fish and the community just does not understand any of the reasons we continue to provide on this arrangement. The unfortunate situation is that every time the community makes these demands there is a general hysteria that permeates through the ranks of those who are interested in the matter. Hopefully this will eventually come to an end.

Have a good day.

_________________
wanda mkutshulwa
Head of Communications
South African National Parks (SANParks)


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:59 am 
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Thank you for your reply Wanda. If I understand your post correctly there are two communities at the top and bottom borders of the MPA who are allowed to fish in the MPA! If this is true, I find it most disturbing.

It is also rather sad that the authorities don’t seem to have the willingness to put their feet down and close this matter on fishing in a MPA once and for all. It seems that the authorities are playing this issue softly and perhaps raising hopes on the part of the communities to keep the peace. Promises made by the DM to the community that their decades long demand for fishing in the MPA would be addressed and that they would be allowed to fish in the Park soon are indicative to this.

The communities may be aggrieved but they need to be educated on marine and coastal conservation. The problem with local communities is that they don’t think further than the day of tomorrow. What they don’t grasp is the importance of marine conservation by MPA’s in the long run. Overfishing is widely acknowledged as the greatest threat to marine wildlife and habitats. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN nearly 70% of the world's fish stocks are fully fished, overfished or depleted. Furthermore 20% of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed, 24% are under imminent risk of collapse due to human pressures and a further 26% are under a thread of collapse!

MPA’s are crucial in the management of eco-systems and the resuscitating of ailing fish stock. What is the point in having a MPA where fishing is allowed? I don't think there could be sustainable fishing in a MPA...a MPA has to resuscitate fish stocks outside its borders.

This matter on fishing in the Tsitsikamma MPA needs to be closed now. All the authorities have to do is to uphold the principles of a MPA and not allowing fishing at all. Can you imagine the outcry from conservationists if sustainable hunting is allowed in Kruger by previously aggrieved communities?!


Last edited by TheunsH on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:40 am 
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Well said TheunsH :clap: This typical of the mentality of some South Africans. Demand, demand,demand. As you say, if SANParks allow fishing, it will set a precedent and all "communities" will then demand hunting and fishing rights in our Parks. I am a keen fisherman (with a strict catch and release policy. Maybe one for the pot) and I have seen the decline in fish numbers. In one of my first Angling books is a black and white photo of an angler with 24 big Black Musselcrackers. During earlier years, everything that was caught was taken home, only to become cat food after 6 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Alarming to say the least if fishing in a nature reserve is allowed and as Rooies say a precedent is a dangerous business that is very tough to get around, especially if the SA law is based on the same principles as the british one.


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Lets look at this in a different perspective, we have two communities who have lived in the area for who knows how long, all of a sudden they are not allowed to fish for the pot. This is a bit harsh as any fisherman will tell you that it is becoming more difficult to just go and fetch your supper. These locals do not have the fancy equipment and rely on primitive techniques to put food on the table. Large commercial trawlers on the other hand can come in and clear a reef that these guys can only dream of reaching.
It is not such an uncommon thing for sport fishing to be allowed in a marine reserve, on the kzn coast there are a few reserves where sport fishing is allowed but no bait collecting or commercial stuff. This has proved to be quite successful in areas like the Trafalgar reserve where we have seen an abundance of intertidal life and numerous schools of fry in the lagoon.

The bonus of these reserves is that there are an increased number of parks board rangers to look out for things like under size and other contraband keeping the fishermen on their toes.

I am all in favour of conservation but I find it difficult to deny a hungry person a meal, this sometimes lead to confusing emotions :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:29 pm 
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:redface: I sometimes forget how some of these communities live and I have even seen some :slap: Actually I thought that when we we talked about fishing we were talking about professional fishing with fishing boats with a certain equipment. If this is not the case the whole thing changes its perspective. But is it possible to allow only the communities to fish for a living or will it not develop into something else with someone else behind?


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 Post subject: Re: Shark and Oceanic Conservation in General
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Hiya Sparks, hope you are well.

Sparks wrote:
Lets look at this in a different perspective, we have two communities who have lived in the area for who knows how long, all of a sudden they are not allowed to fish for the pot.


For years the communities on the outskirts of Kruger hunted in Kruger for who knows how long, before proclamation? Does your statement also apply there? :hmz: Are the poachers from the rural communities next to Kruger not doing the same? Hunting for the pot? They also rely on primitive measures to hunt - snares.

Nope, sorry, but I disagree. Opening up a protected area even a little bit (even to local communities) is like opening a can of worms. Soon there will be nothing left to protect. I can just imagine how those communities are harvesting alikreukel, abalone, crayfish, etc etc. Let alone fish species which are suppose to breed and multiply. Yes, it sounds harsh, but we need to draw the line somewhere, or wipe the line and the species that we are trying to protect (the little what is left of it).

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