I attended yesterday, an all day meeting of SAMLMA (SA Marine Line Management Association). It was very well attended with over 30 delegates from all facets of Marine Angling, Commercial and non-Commercial, top officials and scientists from MCM, KZN Wildlife and ORI. In brief, issues discussed which affect our sport were as follows:
- Where shore based fishing is allowed in certain of the MPA’s, MCM agree that underwater fishing from the shore should also be allowed. They have agreed to modify the legislation to this effect. It may take up to two years.
- The re-issue of contracts to manage various launch sites on the north coast of KZN is currently being done. It is agreed that anyone managing a launch site (club or municipality) is mandated by law to allow access and launch rights to the public. If this is not being done the launch site will be closed.
- An attempt by commercial anglers to have a bag limit of 5 per person imposed on King and Queen Mackerel, Geelbek, Yellowtail and Cape Snoek for non-commercial was blocked by non-commercial anglers as these species are not under threat.
- A proposal by the non-commercial anglers that further restrictions on closure during the breeding season for Black Steenbrass and Red Steenbrass was accepted by the meeting and passed on to MCM for investigation and legislation.
- The moratorium on the taking of Seventy-four has been extended for another five years.
- A table showing the issuances of angling and spearfishing licences from 1998 to 2007n was handed out. In 2007 there were 160535 angling licences sold, 3961 spearfishing and 11849 boat licences, giving a total R11.21 million. MCM thought the number of crayfish licences numbered over 5000, but these included licences sold to anglers.
- MCM are proposing to allow the application and issuing of licences online via the Internet. The system may take a year to implement. In another development, KZN Wildlife have offered to issue licences in bulk to any organization that can provide them the required level of detail in their computer format and make a single payment. We will be investigating this on behalf of our registered members.
- The Stilbaai MPA has now been officially proclaimed and the extensions to Kei Reserves, Namaqua and Bird Island are in the pipeline.
- The new Linefish Observer Program has already measured 180000 fish and is providing vital fish stock management data. The people doing it do not work for the Parks Board or MCM and thus our members are encouraged to co-operate and give these people the information they require.
- Commercial fisherman were flabbergasted when it was announced that the economic impact to SA of non-commercial marine fishing amounted to R6.8 billion in 2007 and was 40% more than commercial fishing. They want their own survey done.
- 16 dead Whale Sharks were recorded on the KZN Coast in 2007.
During the meeting, I was able to speak with Chris Wilke who is Chief Scientist for MCM on the proposal to ban spearfishing in the Draft of Standards for the Hunting Industry. He agreed that this was in conflict with the Marine Living Resources Act and undertook to pass this on to his colleagues at MCM to get it sorted out. He warned that we should continue to be vigilant on this matter until it was resolved.
SAUFF REGISTRATION FEE
A proposal that we consider scrapping the R100 registration fee has been received. Their contention is that SAUFF would get many more registered members if it removed the fee. It was suggested that SAUFF could earn sufficient revenue by asking anyone who ran a tournament to charge an extra R20 per entrant, to be submitted to SAUFF.
A second proposal by Richard Bruno is that he would personally pay the registration fee for the first year of any new member who was introduced by an existing member. i.e. two for the price of one. The SAUFF committee appreciates this magnificent gesture by Richard and are looking into the practicality of introducing it into the existing system.
A third equally generous proposal from Gauteng reads as follows:
However money makes the world go around - so;
GAUTENG SOUTH UNDERWATER CLUB pledges to donate to SAUFF R 5.00 ( FIVE Rand ) for each existing membership and for each new member added to the 100 or so as of even date for a closed period of ONE YEAR from today's date.
If we can sign up the other 4900 missing divers in one year that purchase licenses each year then we will place SAUFF in funds of R 25 000.00 to be used as they see fit but especially to aid our fight for our right to practice the most selective form of fishing known to man.
WE CHALLENGE ALL OTHER UNIONS AND CLUBS TO PLEDGE ANYTHING FROM ONE RAND PER DIVER OR TO EQUAL OR BETTER OUR PLEDGE STARTING WITH OUR INLAND BROTHERS GNU. LEN ?
Greg Lewis - Monto.
Again SAUFF applauds this magnificent gesture.
I have had over 10 e-mails from registered members who reject the view that scrapping the registration fee of R100 will increase the number of members. Their view is largely that getting something of value for nothing is worse than useless.
I am pleased to report that we have had another 10 new members join SAUFF in October and since the updated system now sends out reminder notices to those whose membership has expired, we have had 14 renewals
I will attach to the next newsletter, the Income and Expenses of SAUFF to date, which will indicate exactly why SAUFF needs money to run itself, over and above the voluntary contributions made by the committee members which are not paid for by SAUFF.
News from Venezuela is that most of the teams have now arrived, and that things are going well. There is now less than a week to go before the Opening Ceremony on the 20th.
www.saspearoranking.co.za is the website to register with SAUFF and www.sauff.co.za is SAUFF’s website. Check them out.
Lastly we have decided to include both East Coast and West Coast Rock Lobster into our records list. More details will be included in the next newsletter in November.