On 28 February 2014, the Fisheries Branch was informed that its 14th (at least by our count) acting DDG for the time being would be Mr Mortimer Mannya.
Mr Mannya's previous professional experience has been in the agricultural sector. Mr Mannya is the present Deputy Director-General: Agricultural Production, Health and Food in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Prior to that he worked in the Limpopo department of agriculture.
According to public records, Mr Mannya holds a BSc. and Honours degrees from the University of the North. He also has an MSc from Cranfield Institute of Technology, United Kingdom, a postgraduate certificate in Project Management from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, and completed the postgraduate Management Advance Programme at the University of Witwatersrand
Mr Mannya has been described as a "Soil scientist" with vast experience in agriculture having worked as the Principal of Tompi Seleka College of Agriculture and has been a soil science lecturer at the University of Limpopo.
It is of course unclear how long Mr Mannya will occupy this temporary position and whether he will be able to even begin to address the current horrendous state of mismanagement of our fisheries.
Mr Mannya would be well-advised to surround himself with professional and skilled fishery managers and immediately halt the disastrous and factional management of fisheries introduced by Desmond Stevens. Mr Mannya should immediately call meetings with each of the recognised fishery industrial bodies, the applicable fishery managers, scientists and compliance personnel and institute a process of relationship-building and end the silo-management mentality that has come to define fisheries management. This has meant that fishery managers no longer attend scientific working group meetings and similarly compliance staff have been absent from management working group meetings. We need to return to the system of collaborative management where each fishery is led by a competent fisheries manager and ably supported by suitably skilled scientists, administrators and compliance officials.