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MosselbayonTheline | First With The News

The latest in the so-called aqua-farming projects in South Africa . . . 

Big Prawns

Called SeaArk Africa, the R9bn marine farming project in the Coega industrial development zone in the Eastern Cape promised to produce the biggest prawns in South Africa to all who could afford it, as well as jobs galore.

Pacific white shrimp


The 1 200ha high-tech facility was touted as the world's first environmentally friendly prawn farm, with solid political backing in the Eastern Cape. It boasted several Eastern Cape ANC heavies on its board.

SeaArk claimed to have perfected the world's first closed biosecure farming system, which could grow prawns two or three times faster than its competitors. 

It also promised to employ 11 000 people.

But all the promises turned to dust and despite building what appeared to be a state of the art plant, SeaArk closed down in 2009 without ever getting into commercial scale production.

It all started when an American called David Wills convinced Watson that his brand of organic prawn farming was the next big thing back in 2005. Wills soon arrived in South Africa in full force and it seemed Bosasa's prawn farmers were in business.

Wills became president of SeaArk, and was put in charge of the pilot project.

By 2007 Bosasa announced to the world that it would open the world's first environmentally friendly prawn farm, and boasted about its huge prawns that could be grown in record time.

During a visit to the farm, Wills himself pulled fantastically sized prawns from ponds, housed in a space-age type facility. Construction was buzzing and restaurants in Port Elizabeth were salivating to get their hands on the prawns.

Using a computerized control system, Wills said the ponds were heated to an optimum temperature, algae levels were controlled and the water quality strictly managed to produce his "organic" prawns.

SeaArk farmed the Pacific white shrimp, which is highly susceptible to viral infections that wiped out populations and could be transmitted to indigenous prawn species. But adding antibiotics to prawns diminished its value because organic prawns fetched a premium price.

Wills insisted his prawns were farmed without any antibiotics, and that he kept it healthy by "eliminating" factors that spread diseases.

"It would take a criminal act to sabotage my farm," he said.

Fraudster farmer

But the criminal was already present. Wills was a convicted fraudster and well known in US circles as pretending to advance animal rights, while actually exploiting them for financial gain.

Bosasa's international partner was, in fact, a disaster waiting to happen. In 1995 Wills was sacked as vice-president of one of the world's largest animal rights organisations, the Washington-based Humane Society of the US, after being accused of fraud and sexual harassment.

In 1999, he was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $67 800 for embezzlement, with prosecutors alleging that he gambled the money away in Las Vegas.

Pacific white shrimp1


When the Mail & Guardian revealed Wills' chequered past, AGO spokesperson and director, Papa Leshabane said that Bosasa considered Wills to be one of, if not the US's most knowledgeable authority on all aspects of aquaculture.

Watson also denied at the time that Wills had a criminal record and downplayed Wills' involvement in the project. He told the M&G that Wills was only one of a team of guys SeaArk employed.

"Sure, there was some stuff he was involved in, but that was a long time ago," Watson said. "He is renowned in the prawn industry."

Environmental concerns

Wills' claims that the project was environmentally sound also backfired when it sparked furious objections from local environmentalists, including SA National Parks. At the time, there were allegations that the Eastern Cape Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had been fast-tracked because of Bosasa's political connections.

Funding became a struggle for SeaArk, and after lying about an alleged R70m Saudi Arabian deal, no more money flowed into the project. Leshabane blamed a lack of investment and Eskom's escalating electricity tariffs for its resulting death.

 Child molesting allegations

After SeaArk collapsed Wills returned to Texas to start another multimillion-dollar prawn farming venture called Global Blue Technologies-Cameron (GBT-C). There it emerged that apart from being a fraudster, Wills may be a child molester as well. He was arrested in 2015 on federal charges of child trafficking.

Prosecutors allege that Wills paid a woman to have sex with her daughter over the course of several years, starting when the daughter was nine years old. After several delays, Wills is now scheduled for trial next month, and the charges are of such a nature that the 66-year-old will spend the rest of his life in US federal prison if convicted.


In hindsight associating with a character like Wills was probably not the best idea that Bosasa had. It also later emerged that the project's Australian lead scientist was the real brains behind the operation and he later sued SeaArk over the project's intellectual property rights.

Gauteng Prawn Farming

But Bosasa was not yet done with its prawn farming. Six years after the Eastern Cape plant had failed, it announced that it would open a multimillion-rand prawn farm on the West Rand, near Bosasa's headquarters in Krugersdorp. Instead of SeaArk the new venture would be named Bio-Organics.

The Gauteng government threw its weight behind the project, which is not surprising taking into account Agrizzi's testimony about Bosasa's links with Gauteng ANC leaders such as Nomvula Mokonyane.

The new venture aimed to build on the technology of the old Eastern Cape plant, although Bosasa was tight-lipped about the technology in the wake of the law suit.

Questions on water usage, electricity supply and disease control also dogged the new plant. 

The farm survived just long enough to provide the starter to Zuma's birthday party in 2015, which Bosasa had also sponsored.


"The project is aptly named Bio-organics," Bosasa wrote in a newsletter on the website.

Like the Eastern Cape project, it again promised jobs.

"Bosasa has a unique approach to aquaculture. Not only does it have the potential to contribute to [the] rural development plans of our nation, but it also promises to bring employment to these almost abandoned parts of the country."

Despite its backing the Gauteng government admitted no EIA had been done for the project and referred all queries back to Bosasa, who refused to discuss Bio-Organics.

The project never got off the ground and by 2017 Bosasa was once again failed prawn farmers.

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The action group Save Langebaan Lagoon has been fighting tirelessly for almost two years to convince authorities of the  devastating effects that aquaculture farming - especially finfish-farming - will have on the ecologically sensitive lagoon.


Several fund raising campaigns and public open days were held to raise awareness and get funding for the lengthy and costly legal battle against the applicable authorities - the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).  

fish farms japan

An urgent appeal is once again made to the public to support this worthy cause in the interest of all parties, residents and people who live here and love the area, and want to protect the environment and marine life from short-sighted and fatal political experiments - before it is too late forever. 











To all of you that attended our meeting last night thank you .It was by far the largest turnout we have had to date.

There were some pertinent questions and proposals put forward by the public. 

Below is our banking details

ACC NAME  -                       SAVE LANGEBAAN LAGOON

BANK                                    ABSA

BRANCH                               LANGEBAAN  - 632 005

ACC NO                                4094 783 363

Back a buddy fundraising link below



Information links to our objections and appeal this will give you an idea on what is at stake in both the environmental & socio economic spheres .


SLL ADZ background Information




SLL Objection 2017  


Ecosense objection

SLL appeal  2018 -


Please share as far and wide as possible!



On behalf of Save Langebaan Lagoon










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It really is commendable that slowly but surely people are becoming more and more concerned about their environment.
It is a brilliant thing to go round and pick up all the litter and can only benefit nature. 

         I am, however, concerned that it is only cleaning the surface. 

Riverside Community Forum organized a very successful estuary clean-up day a while back where we collected 85 bags of litter, masses of it being fishermen's paraphernalia (fishing line, nets, blue plastic found in bait boxes etc).
RCF has staff trawling our area rummaging in black bags dumped on roadsides and we regularly take people to task on littering.  We keep meticulous records of those whose identification we find inside the very bags dumped.  It always confirms, without a doubt, who the perpetrator is, often giving us their most personal details.  Most people approached are apologetic and offer to clean up and refrain from doing so again. 
On our estuary clean-up day, it was not arranged that citizens pick up the rubbish. We approached the community who lives in the estuary and arranged that the children come to spend a fun day with prizes and refreshments kindly donated by local businesses and during the process all those involved in making the day possible also jumped in and helped and we got to know the little ones in our communities. 

Riverside clean up
At first, 25 bags were filled with "top layer" litter.  When it all looked clean, we asked the kids to lift up the brush and voila, another 65 bags were filled with "unseen" litter.  During the course of the day, we used the opportunity to shout out "ons mag nie mors nie" and the kids loudly proclaimed such. 

Riverside clean up1

Even today, riding in this community, I am waved at with a "hello Ouma, ons mag nie mors nie".  This proves that a Zap it in the Zibi initiative could only serve a great purpose.  
WC government bought the rights to Zap it in the Zibi years ago. Why have they not implemented a national project yet?  The sooner it is done, the sooner we will reap the benefits from it. The last Zap it in the Zibi campaign was when I was a small child and it remains with me until today and I have passed it on to my children and grandchildren.  
Come on Mossel Bay Municipality, why can we not do this here by us seeing as we are Town of the Year and the Greenest Municipality.
Let us dig deeper into not just surface litter problems, but deeper issues, like the degradation of our three beautiful estuaries. 

Riverside clean up3Riverside clean up4

Estuaries which are degrading daily. Let us stand up and STOP the polluting.  Let's tell our citizens the truth about what is happening here.
Then, and only then, will we be worthy of our Greenest award and hold our heads up high when we brag. 
Brigit Maritz
Riverside Community Forum 
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Die hele wêreld was gisteraand so ietwat met die maan gepla . . .  

In Mosselbaai het groepies "sterrekykers" die verskynsel op strande en stoepe ingewag, maar dié wat nie met teleskope, verkykers en goeie kameras toegerus was nie, het omstreeks 21:00 net gesien die maan is "weg" . . . so ietwat van 'n anti-klimaks as daar skielik NIKS is nie 

Binnelanders wat wolklose weer gehad het, kon die bloedmaan en verduistering beter sien - veral in die Karoo!

Ons plaas van die mooiste foto's wat oral op sosiale media verskyn het vir diegene wat die seldsame verskynsel misgeloop het.

maansverduistering John Wassenaar

John Wassenaar - oud-fotograaf van Die Burger - het dié reeks foto's van Vrydagaand se algehele maansverduistering in Centurion vasgevang.

Adrian Venter

Adrian Venter het dié gedeeltelike maansverduistering op Paternoster aan die Weskus vasgelê voor die wolke weer inbeweeg het. 

Adrian Venter1

Die maan-eklips en die planeer Mars op dieselfde foto! Adrian Venter van Paternoster aan die Weskus het Vrydagaand daarin geslaag om dié dubbele atronomiese verskynsel vas te vang - die langste algehele maansverduistering van die eeu wat saamgeval het met Mars se naaste verskyning aan die Aarde in 9 jaar. 

marlene malan maan

Karoonagte . . . Marlene Malan van Prins Albert het Vrydagaand dié trefferfoto van die volmaan oor die Karoo-vlaktes verewig voor die maansverduistering begin het. 

Marlene malan maan1

Bloedmaan oor die Karoo . . . Nog 'n trefferfoto van Marlene Malan van Prins Albert van Vrydagaand se uitsonderlike maansverduistering en op die foto's hieronder die geleidelike verduistering van die maan soos die aarde voor hom inbeweeg . . .  

marlene malan3marlene malan4marlene malan5

 marlene malan6marlene malan7marlene malan8

 Lees ook ons vorige berig oor Vrydagaand se algehele maansverduistering wat die hele wêreld aangegryp het hier: 



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Edna Molewa, SA se beleërde minister van omgewingsake, het omgewingsaktiviste wéér warm onder die kraag oor haar skynbaar "ondeurdagte" besluite ten koste van die land se bedreigde spesies en natuurlewe.

Dié keer het haar besluit dat Suid-Afrikaanse leeuboere vanjaar met 1 500 leeuskelette mag handel dryf, aktiviste só boos dat president Cyril Ramaphosa se amptelike webblad deur 'n kuberkraker geteiken en gesluit is in weerwraak teen die regering se "gierigheid". 


Die handel in leeubene vir die Chinese "tierwyn-bedryf" is al lankal 'n steen des aanstoots vir duisende diereliefhebbers wat keelvol is vir Oosterlinge wat "alles eet wat hulle sien- selfs klippe - en Suid-Afrika se wildlewe op land en see stelselmatig uiitroei - van renosters en olifante tot perlemoen, vis en nou leeus ook!"  

Die Burger het soos volg oor vandag se presidensiële kuberkrakery berig: 

Leeu-aktiviste kraak glo Cyril se amptelike webblad

Deur Elise Tempelhoff 19 Julie 2018 19:16

Kuberkrakers wat leeus se belange op die hart dra en “gewalg” is oor die geblikte leeubedryf in Suid-Afrika, het Donderdagmiddag op pres. Cyril Ramaphosa se amptelike webblad, ThePresidency.gov.za toegeslaan en dit “tydelik” gesluit.

Ene Paladinen met die Twitter-naam @VirusSec het verantwoordelikheid daarvoor aanvaar en gesê hy het die webblad verwyder weens die regering se gierigheid.
@VirusSec sê op sy Twitter-rekening hy is van Afganistan.
@VirusSec het ’n foto van die webblad met Ramaphosa daarop getwiet en gesê:
“Gierigheid het hierdie Afrikaregering lankal oorgeneem.” Die hutsmerk #OpFunKill
is daarby getwiet. Dié hutsmerk dui onder omgewingsaktiviste op die “uitwissing van spesies”.

@Hot_p0ppy het in antwoord getwiet: “Verkoop leeubeendere vir wyn? Absoluut walglik. Hulle het daarvoor gevra.”
Op ’n vraag deur die bewaringsorganisasie, EMS, of die rede vir die aanval op Ramaphosa se die webblad die “handel in leeuskelette” is, het @VirusSec getwiet:
“Dit is so.”
Die aktivis Sharone Hoole het getwiet: “Uitstekend . . . dankie . . . kan jy jou voorstel?
Teel die koning van Afrika, soos beeste. En dit vir vals medisyne! Hou (die webblaaie) van die gieriges en korruptes afgeskakel.”

Omgewingsaktiviste is woedend vir die regering en spesifiek vir Edna Molewa, minister van omgewingsake, omdat sy goedkeuring gegee het dat Suid-Afrikaanse leeuboere vanjaar met 1 500 leeuskelette mag handel dryf. ’n Brief wat Molewa reeds in Junie aan Manketsi Tlhape, Noordwes se LUR vir landelike ontwikkeling, omgewingsake en landbou-ontwikkeling, geskryf het en waarin sy dié getal bekend maak, het vandeesweek uitgelek.

Linda Park van die bewaringsorganisasie Campaign Against Canned Hunting (Cach) het gesê dit is geen wonder nie dat die webblad aangeval is. “Edna (Molewa) veroorsaak oral ontploffings.”
Sy het aan Ramaphosa getwiet: “Ons wag, sedert jy as president aangestel is dat jy van hierdie aaklige vrou ontslae raak. Miskien sal jy nou verstaan hoe gevaarlik sy is.”
Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa se woordvoerder, het beloof om vas te stel of die webblad wel aangeval is. Sy het nog nie gereageer nie, maar teen belowe om te reageer, maar teen 18:30 was die webblad steeds onbereikbaar.

@VirusSec het glo vandag hierdie foto getwiet toe hy president Cyril Ramaphosa se amptelike webblad aangeval en verwyder het omdat "gierigheid dié regering oorgeneem het." Foto: Twitter

Cyril leeubedryf

Dit volg op dié berig wat Sondag in die Sunday Times verskyn het: 


1‚500 lion skeletons can now be exported annually: DEA

16 July 2018 - 19:14BY NICO GOUS

lion Times live

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says all activities involving the African lion‚ including hunting‚ possession and trade are regulated through a permit system 
Image: Sanpark

With or without their heads‚ 1‚500 lion skeletons can now be exported annually from South Africa.

That is the quota Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa announced on Monday for this year and is effective retroactively from June 7.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said the quota is based on new evidence from a research project by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the universities of Witwatersrand (Wits)‚ Oxford and Kent which analyse and monitor the lion bone trade in South Africa.

The research found: - There is a growing stockpile of lion bones due to restrictions. There has been no discernible increase in poaching of wild lions‚ but there appears to be an increase in the poaching of captive bred lions for body parts such as heads‚ faces‚ paws and claws; and - The captive breeding industry is in a state of flux as breeders respond in different ways to the United States’ restrictions on trophies and the imposition of the skeleton export quota.

Molewa said: “All activities involving the African lion‚ including hunting‚ possession and trade are regulated through a permit system‚ and our policies are supported by solid scientific evidence.”

The DEA added in its statement: “If there is ongoing demand for lion bones and the supply from captive breeding facilities is restricted‚ dealers may seek alternative sources‚ either through illegal access to stockpiles or by poaching both captive bred and wild lions.”

It added: “South Africa has learned through its experience with rhino and abalone poaching that these illegal supply chains are very difficult to disband once they become established‚ and seeks to avoid such a scenario materialising.” The Department of Environmental affairs will regulate the implementation of quotas and the following process must be followed: - Applications to export lion bones must be lodged with provincial conservation authorities; - Provincial conservation authorities must then confirm whether the quota is available with the DEA.

Provincial conservation authorities will then assess the application and issue or deny a permit. The permit must show the permitted quota; - all skeletons must be packed separately at the supplier; - skeletons must be weighed‚ tagged and a DNA sample taken; and - skeletons must be inspected and weighed when they leave the country and checked against permits.

The DEA said they have informed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat of its decision in line with a 2015 decision taken at the 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES.

South Africa is one of only seven countries in the world that has substantial lion populations. There are 3‚500 African lions in the wild and about 7‚000 are kept in 260 captive breeding facilities.

Lions are kept in captivity for hunting and potentially breeding new populations.

“Some are sold to start new conservation areas whilst others are donated to countries whose own lions have long become extinct‚” the DEA said.

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