Monday, April 22, 2013

SA Maintains Hake Trawl Certification - No Thanks to DAFF

The South African hake trawl industry has maintained MSC certification of the hake trawl fisheries despite efforts by the SA government and the Department of Fisheries, in particular, to derail certification. 

Over the past 12 months, DAFF failed to successfully deploy the research vessel, Africana, on a single demersal (or pelagic) research cruise, there have been absolutely no fisheries patrols as the patrol vessels have been allowed to rot in Simonstown harbour (where they continue to remain) and despite promises to the MSC last year that the observer programme would be functional after it was abruptly terminated in 2011, DAFF has failed to appoint a service provider to manage and run the programme.  

Instead, the trawl industry had to step into the breach and provide private industry vessels and crew to complete the research cruises and had to even provide and pay for observers to observe a number of fishing trips in order to ensure compliance with the criteria set by MSC in 2012. 

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