The justification for an extension to South Africa’s Marine Protected Areas came from Alan Boyd who said; “MPA’s currently cover less than 0.5% of South Africa’s Exclusive Economic Zone which is in total contrast to the over 8% of land being protected.”
Boyd noted that aquaculture requires less wave action in order to flourish hence the initial identification of the ideal site for a fish farm being in the area bounded by Cape Recife to Nqura Harbour. Vigorous action by the public against this area being utilised has now led to a further alternative area being identified.
The proposal is to site the fish farm on the boundary of an expanded Marine Protection Area in line with the Sunday’s River mouth close to the Nqura Harbour. The ‘modern’ definition of an MPA now allows for smaller zones that allow narrowly defined activities such as fishing, diving, eco-tourism and even commercial activities.
The interested persons had a general gripe session about the proposed citing of Red exclusion zones, the banning of recreational vehicles from the beach, having to walk 300 metres to a fishing spot, foreign boats pillaging our fish stocks, 60 ton anchors from large ships anchoring on our bay destroying coral and limestone along with pelagic fishermen saying that they haven’t caught sardines in their purse seine nets for over 4 years – they must be fishing in the wrong spots as I have seen sardines in the Sardine run on many occasions.
The public have been encouraged to comment on the proposals by 17 May 2016.
A further grace period will be extended after an MPA is declared in which the public will have 180 days to appeal.
Editor: Watching the different speakers was a bit of an eye opener as an US and THEM, two sides of the fence feeling still permeates such meetings. Democracy is a wonderful thing but has a long way to go when intelligent people still fall back on these old stereotypes. We must remember that pre-1994 there was no such thing as negotiation with the citizens as the watchword of the day was; “The NP Way or the Highway!”
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