Feike has been advised that the SAS Africana will now not sail today and in fact may not sail at all. What is almost certain is that the combined arrogance and utter incompetence of DAFF and the Navy will mean that this final pelagic research cruise will have to be abandoned.
The abandonment of the cruise will certainly result in a substantially reduced pilchard TAC for 2013 and this will necessarily result in job losses in pilchard factories and on purse seine vessels. In addition, those that will be lucky enough to keep their jobs should expect lower catching bonuses as a result of a reduced catch limit.
We can only once again blame this debacle on the increasingly destructive and incompetent Minister of Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Her failure to act as a responsible Minister and fulfill her legal obligations under the Marine Living Resources Act has meant that repeated offers by the pelagic industry to pay for and conduct the final research cruise with an industry sponsored vessel have been spurned.
There is little doubt that the Minister's conduct is an affront to good governance and would amount to a violation of the objectives and purpose of the MLRA and industry must surely consider suing her for losses. But she should also be held morally liable for the socio-economic hardships that will result once people start losing jobs in the pelagic industry.
It is incredible how this ANC-led government has been allowed to comprehensively ruin economic sector after economic sector; from mining, to agriculture and fisheries... and that is just in the past few months.