The Rapport newspaper yesterday raised some questions about the Fisheries Department's allocation of experimental abalone fishing quotas in the Eastern Cape. Questions raised included who was allocated permits and how these were allocated, particularly as there has not been an open and public permit application and allocation process. There is no known Gazette inviting experimental permit applications as is normally done.
Feike has received information that seems to suggest that the allocation of abalone permits in the Eastern Cape certainly warrants investigation and for the department to provide answers. For example, it is suggested that 9 tons of abalone in the Jeffreys Bay area has been handed to 3 divers from Hawston in the Western Cape.
The Fisheries Minister should be asked to provide details concerning how the experimental permits were allocated and the names and details of every person allocated a permit. In any case, the Director-General of DAFF ought to maintain an up-to-date and accessible (such as on a website) register of every permit and right allocated under the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998.