As you can imagine, I am privy to quite a lot of correspondence relating to issues affecting us all as a recreational user group. Having said this I would like to bring to the attention of all of you a letter addressed to the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs - Revenue Office. While this letter is as brilliant as most well constructed and thought provoking letters which convey the attitude and sensibility of a reasonable man, I feel that this one particular letter has summed up in a unique way how so many of us really feel but have trouble in trying to put into words without screaming and swearing at the top of our voices.
I would like to thank Ryan Altern for constructing this letter for the benefit of all of us and for allowing me to forward his message on to you.
Thank you for your support and please keep those letters flowing to the powers that be.
SAUFF - President
To whom it may concern.
Its with great concern that I write this letter with regard to the proposed price increase in recreational fishing fee's.
Most years I purchase licences for cast netting, shore angling, mollusc collecting, west coast rock lobster as well as spearfishing. My wife gets the same (which will cease to happen should the proposed increases be implemented) I'd certainly also only bother with Spearfishing and Rock lobster licences meaning that from my 2 person family you'd go from 10 licences at R75 (that's R750.00) to 2 licences at R300 (that's R600) and the same amount of fish/lobster would be removed. This equates to a R100 loss for you and I guarantee it will be the same in other houses. My Father and brothers have already said that they will simply not get licences.
That aside, I feel that there is a serious ecological threat in what you propose as it will mean less users of our oceans. While you may think this is the point, what you'd be missing is that fact that while a boy is catching fish with his dad (an activity that now would cost R400 in licences alone) he develops a love for the ocean and desire to protect it. I'd venture to say that private organisations and individuals do far more for our oceans than your government organisation does and all on private funding. More ocean users means more eyes out for those abusing the resources.
I am an ocean lover and spend on average more than 9 hours a week in the water. I take a on average one fish a week while spearfishing and 6 crayfish a week while in season. I catch harders (southern mullet) on average 4 a week. When I say "I" it includes my wife as well. I've pointed out/reported poachers on more than one occasion and while I'm in the water keep an eye out for illegal behaviour. I clean the beaches I use of litter etc and enjoy myself doing it. The point is that I was once that boy fishing with dad and it didn't cost us R400 for licences in order to learn, develop and practice my love for the ocean. If it had, I assure you we'd not have done it and we would not have another responsible passionate and dedicated defender of our oceans as we do now.
In short the proposed fee's are short-sighted and irresponsible. 10% would be acceptable, 20% should require serious motivation and there should be no reason to go much higher than that.
Manage what you already have correctly and there will be far more money to go around without this short term proposal coming to being.
Business Development Manager