Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fishing Permit Levies Controversy Continues

I dont think this is one of those things that just goes away, unless we make a firm stand I think this will be just another failure of the apathetic South African.

There is a lot of complaining going on, and many letters sent to the 'Minster' or to where ever the listed address goes. I am sure the 'Minster' does not read even a percentage of them ....let alone reply!

I got all excited when I saw a news clip entitled "State defends increase in fishing permit levies". I quickly droped everything to read the article and see if there was any answers to this whole thing.
Well ..as you guessed nothing ..... well only one line, "PROPOSED increases in the cost of fishing permits will help the Marine and Coastal Management authority enforce regulations and protect SA’s fishing resources, environmental affairs spokesman Zolile Nqayi said on Friday"

Who are these guys fooling they need to come up with something better than that! Here is the whole article published in Business Day by Charlotte Mathews

PROPOSED increases in the cost of fishing permits will help the Marine and Coastal Management authority enforce regulations and protect SA’s fishing resources, environmental affairs spokesman Zolile Nqayi said on Friday.

He was responding to an outcry among fishermen and the media last week after the gazetting of proposed new levies on fish caught in South African waters — both for the commercial and recreational sectors — harbour fees and other activities such as shark-cage diving and boat- based whale watching.

The most controversial proposals include increasing the cost of a recreational fishing permit 567% for catching crayfish, to R500 from R75, and 300% for spearfishing, to R300 from R75. In the commercial sector, the levy on hake has increased 71% to R350 a ton from R205 a ton.

Angry recreational fishermen, writing on the South African angling and boating community website Sealine, suggested that the steep increases were unaffordable and would simply increase the amount of illegal fishing activity.

They questioned how the coastal management authority was spending the money raised from such fees and suggested that hikes could be lower if its enforcement was more effective.

“Commercial vessels come in after hours in Hout Bay, offload their catch and do not pay any levies, because there are no fisheries officers who want to work overtime and weigh the catch, so the commercials just walk away scot-free. Where is the justification here?” one commentator wrote.

Nqayi said the proposed rises for recreational fishing were generally inflation-related and took account of affordability. For example, the cost of a permit for a subsistence fisherman had risen only 10% to R6. For commercial fishing, the proposed increases were still affordable.

Coatesman
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