On the 4th of June 2010, our Compliance Director Alistair Downing, attended a Compliance Indaba hosted by the South African Inshore Fishing Industry Association at the Sea Point Fisheries Research Aquarium. The objective of the Indaba was to discuss the challenges and possible solutions with regards to the illegal harvesting of WCRL.

The delegates were welcomed by Mr George Branch and this was followed by a viewing of a recent episode of FOCUS on poaching that was televised on SABC2. The remainder of the morning session consisted of four short presentations by various role players. These included Serge Raemaekers (UCT Environment Evaluation Unit), Rob Tarr (MCM, Research and stock status), Paul Sieben (SANPARKS) and Suzan Leseke (Chief Director: MCS).

The delegates were thereafter divided into various interest groups, such which included ‘Researchers’, ‘Compliance and resource management, ‘Industry and recreational fishers’ and ‘Artisanal fishers’. The brief to each of these groups was to highlight several problems encountered by the various role players with reference to their particular area of interest. After a very insightful debate by all groups, their respective findings were briefly presented to all the delegates. After the lunch break, the various groups were again constituted, but this time with an overlap of delegates from all the groups, thereby ensuring a certain amount of cross referencing.

These groups then discussed the possible solutions to the problems highlighted in the morning session. Various theories and ideas were postulated to resolve the issues raised, but what was abundantly clear was that for any long term solution to be successful, all parties need to consult with each other on a meaningful basis, such as demonstrated in this Indaba.

The Association aims to prepare a more comprehensive report on the Indaba and all members are encouraged to obtain a copy thereof and implement the relevant solutions raised, so as to ensure the longevity of the WCRL fishery.

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