National 26.8.2016 04:56 pm

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife loses marine mandate

For many years Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has monitored onshore and offshore fishing. Now its contract has not been renewed. Picture: South Coast Herald.

For many years Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has monitored onshore and offshore fishing. Now its contract has not been renewed. Picture: South Coast Herald.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s contract to protect the marine resources has not been renewed.

In spite of its good track record and its many years of experience, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has lost its mandate to protect KwaZulu-Natal’s marine resources, reports the South Coast Herald.

Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambe confirmed that his organisation’s contract with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff) to act as the department’s agency in this regard, was not renewed at the end of July 2016. The decision not to renew it was taken by Daff, he said.

When asked why the contract was cancelled, Daff spokesman Palesa Mokomele simply said that it had come to an end on July 31 this year.

If the matter had been discussed with the provincial portfolio committee before the decision to end the mandate was taken, she was not aware of it, she said.

For many years, well-trained Ezemvelo officials have kept fishermen on their toes, monitoring onshore and offshore fishing, checking the harvesting of shad, crayfish and other species and keeping an eye on the activities of ski-boats and other fishing vessels.

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Ezemvelo has also been very involved in marine conservation education projects.

When asked what agency was going to take over the marine conservancy policing and educational duties, Mokomele only said that Daff was mandated to ensure sustainable utilisation of marine living resources.

Regarding the management of the Marine Protected Areas once they had all been promulgated, Mokomele explained that this was a Department of Environmental Affairs competency.

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Caxton News Service

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