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Trawler Watch

Hands off our Sardines! Trawler watch. Keep these destructive forces from our waters

Trawler Watch

The sardines are prepping for their annual suicide run up the east coast of Southern Africa right now.

And so will be illegal fishers. Preparing to gorge them with their huge purse seine nets and get them into a supermarket near you.

That the overall population is dwindling as rapidly as every other fishery we on earth have depleted since mechanisation, is but one reason the sardines don’t get right into Natal waters anymore.

There is another reason. Foreign and local fishing pressure. The poor sardines barely make it to Port Edward these days, as illicit, and sometimes even legal – fishing operations, suck them all up.

I have been getting offers of US$70 per tonne in my inbox?! And the season hasn’t even started yet?! By months!

Reports filter through perpetually, concerning trawlers and the like, being spotted off the Transkei Coast.

I sure expect the powers that be recognise the tourism value per sardine, and keep at chasing those trawlers right out of our waters…

What to do?

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:27/centery:-35/zoom:6 (this shows the legal ships off our coastline. So if you see a ship, you can verify it’s being and purpose. If it ain’t on the AIS maps, then it is definitely illegal, and the incident needs to be reported immediately).

Report these type of incidents to as many places as you can.

STOP PRESS: I have been advised by an official at DAFF, that there is nowhere to report suspicious shipping activity?!

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Huge losses due to illegal fishing

The Mozambican state is suffering annual loses of revenue of over a billion meticais ($30 million) from illegal fishing, according to the National Director of Fisheries Inspection, Manuel Castiano.

According to Castiano 2,000 tonnes of fisheries produce are taken from Mozambican waters every year by vessels fishing illegally. “Illegal fishing is not just an economic concern, but also a social one”, said Castiano, “since more than 100,000 Mozambicans depend directly on fishing for their livelihood, and a further 530,000 depend indirectly”.

Illegal fishing is preventing the fisheries sector from increasing its contribution to Mozambique’s Gross Domestic Product, he added. Currently fisheries only contribute three per cent to GDP. Inter-sector cooperation, including with the defence and security forces, and strengthening the human and material resources devoted to fighting illegal fishing, were the way forward to bring the situation under control, said Castiano.

Mozambique is far from the only African country in this situation. Africa as a whole is estimated to be losing €785 million (slightly more than a billion US dollars) every year to illegal fishing.

Courtesy AIM