The most recent and major biodiversity conservation event in KZN was, sadly, a very negative one. The national Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) summarily terminated the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife contract to be the regulating authority with regards to marine and coastal conservation in KZN.
This means that a highly successful tenure of nearly 60 years will end in August unless the people of KZN demand that Ezemvelo be reinstated. No government agency can act in a way that will please everyone – especially not an agency tasked with managing a marine fishery. As Napoleon once said: “In order to make an omelet it is necessary to break some eggs.”
It is our belief, however, that EKZNW has managed its role well and and can take a certain amount of the credit for the fact that the coast of KZN still has reasonably good stocks of fish and other marine life. Unfortunately it appears that DAF has no plan for a replacement agency, and nor does it have the capacity to take on the added burden of the KZN coast. This means that if EKZNW is not reinstated, the coast of KZN will be laid wide open to poachers and the plunder of its remaining marine life. With Chinese and other Far Eastern nationality fishing vessels already raiding our precious marine resources with seeming impunity, this situation could have dire consequences for our coast if not speedily addressed.