Following the arbitrary decsion by the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to cancel Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s marine compliance contract with effect from 1 August this year, we can report that the issue is still not cut and dried. DAFF have sent a number of their staff up to KZN and these are indeed pretty active. So it’s not a case of leaving our coast completely open to illegal activities. The DAFF staff are apparently also taking Ezemvelo staff with them on some patrols, because most of them are from the Cape and do not know the various marine species of KZN, as our sea-life is very different from that found in the colder waters of the Cape, being comprised of Indo-Pacific species.
That the decision to cancel the Ezemvelo marine compliance contract was ill-considered, is becoming more and more apparent. Ezemvelo still has the mandate to manage and operate in all Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the KZN coast – Trafalgar, Aliwal Shoal and within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. In addition, there are several new MPAs being considered and Ezemvelo will, in accordance with its mandate, manage these.
Further discussions are taking place with DAFF and internally at Ezemvelo Wildlife, and until this complicated situation can be resolved, most Ezemvelo staff on the coast are staying where they are, but have strict instructions not to engage in any marine compliance activities.
In the meantime please use the contacts below should you wish to report any matters of concern related to coastal fishing.