Despite the Fisheries Minister's repeated assurances that the patrol and research vessels will be operational during April, the vessels remain port bound in Simonstown harbour.
And Feike has been advised that these vessels will not be able to leave port for at least the next 6 months which will expose South African waters to further rampant and unchecked illegal fishing for an extremely extensive period. In addition, the pelagic research cruise will certainly be cancelled which will mean that the TAC for the second half of the 2012 anchovy fishery will not be capable of being determined based on actual science.
Even though the Minister and her advisers will undoubtedly deny it, but we are officially chin-deep in a governance crisis. Fisheries management in this country, which has traditionally been underpinned by internationally recognised fisheries science, has never been so seriously compromised until Joemat-Pettersson insisted on assuming the fisheries throne in Cabinet.
Patrol vessels in Simonstown Harbour, 17 April 2012