A Group of Perlemoen Fishermen - Who Are Dragging the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to Court over the Quota System - Have Claimed That the Department "Secretly" Sold More Than R10m Worth of Illegally Poached Perlemoen

Cape Times (South Africa), January 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

A Group of Perlemoen Fishermen - Who Are Dragging the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to Court over the Quota System - Have Claimed That the Department "Secretly" Sold More Than R10m Worth of Illegally Poached Perlemoen


A group of perlemoen fishermen - who are dragging the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to court over the quota system - have claimed that the department "secretly" sold more than R10m worth of illegally poached perlemoen.

This was among the allegations presented in their court papers, which were submitted to the Western Cape High Court a week ago.

The group of 36 artisanal fishermen and entities, all from the Western Cape, are being led by Scott Russell, the spokesman for the South African Abalone Industry Association, in a court battle against the minister, the deputy director-general of the Fisheries Branch and 268 other fishing companies and fishermen.

They are seeking a court order to review and set aside the quota allocation for small-scale abalone fishermen for the 2011/12 fishing season.

In addition, they are seeking an urgent interdict to stop the dozens of people and companies fishing in their allocated zones at Robben Island, the Cape Peninsula and the West Coast.

In an affidavit, Russell claimed that the department "secretly sold some five tons of illegally harvested, confiscated dried abalone", which had earned it R10m for one auction. In the 2007/08 financial year, the department had auctioned off poached perlemoen worth R80m and relied on such sales to fund operational costs. …

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