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Inshore hake trawling in SA temporarily suspended

Inshore hake trawling in SA temporarily suspended

Cape Town – Inshore hake trawling in South Africa has been temporarily suspended, following an interim interdict granted in the Cape High Court.

Judge Lee Bozalek on Tuesday made an interim ruling after an application had been submitted by Viking Inshore Fishing, which was unhappy about the new quotas which came into effect since the beginning of 2017, Fin24’s sister publication Netwerk24 reported.

Rory Williams, director of Viking Fishing Holdings, said in an affidavit that his company has had 11.85% of the hake fishing rights for a 10-year period, which came to a halt at the end of 2015 after Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana had allocated new quotas on 21 December 2015.

READ: Angling for SA’s R5.4bn in deep-sea fishing contracts

Viking Inshore Fishing Holdings argued that its fishing quotas were cut by 60% and that the formula used by government to allocate new quotas was irrational, unfair and illegal.

In the court documents, Williams further alleged that the Department was resolute to reduce the fishing rights of white-owned fishing companies, despite the technical merits and the transformation initiatives undertaken by white firms.

READ: Fishing for the future

The interim interdict, which also prohibits Viking Fishing Holdings from hake fishing, will be effective until the final ruling will be delivered on 6 February.

In its application for a final interdict ruling, Viking is seeking for the total suspension of hake fishing rights until an internal appeals process has been concluded and Zokwane has taken a final decision regarding the fishing quotas.

The Department said it would oppose the application.

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