On 25 November 2009, the Minister of Environmental Affairs and her department launched the 2008/2009 compliance and enforcement report. As Feike had authored a research paper which concluded (but roundly denied by government officials) that illegal fishing cost the SA economy an estimated R6 billion in 2008 and that Marine and Coastal Management - a branch of the environmental affairs department - was incapable and unwilling to curb illegal fishing, I was particularly interested to understand the department's initiatives and statistics pertaining to illegal fishing.
The entire report of 35 pages fails to mention the words "abalone" or "fish" or "hake" or "shark-fin"... or any matter related to fishing once! In fact the entire "compliance and enforcement report" is really only able to say this about marine and coastal management -
"Marine and Coastal Management (a branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs) recorded the highest number of convictions at 206."
In fact Marine and Coastal Management is mentioned thrice in the entire report. There is no attempt at any analysis or recognition of the challenges and threats posed by illegal fishing and the more general lack of enforcement and compliance in the abalone fishery or the commercial fisheries, generally.
The full report is available on www.deat.gov.za.