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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Wassenaar - oud-fotograaf van Die Burger - het dié reeks foto's van Vrydagaand se algehele maansverduistering in Centurion vasgevang.
Adrian Venter het dié gedeeltelike maansverduistering op Paternoster aan die Weskus vasgelê voor die wolke weer inbeweeg het.
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.
Karoonagte . . . Marlene Malan van Prins Albert het Vrydagaand dié trefferfoto van die volmaan oor die Karoo-vlaktes verewig voor die maansverduistering begin het.
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 . . .
Lees ook ons vorige berig oor Vrydagaand se algehele maansverduistering wat die hele wêreld aangegryp het hier:
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 OMGEWING
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
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
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.
Scientists want to force SA to cut back rock lobster harvest
08 July 2018 – BY BOBBY JORDAN
West Coast rock lobster is facing extinction.
The world’s top marine scientists have stepped in to stop the government destroying one of the ocean’s most prized species and triggering an ecological disaster.
An unprecedented World Wide Fund for Nature court bid to save the West Coast rock lobster from extinction has united scientists from around the world against the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Evidence and affidavits submitted to the High Court in Cape Town reveal how the department has ignored advice from its scientists to reduce the rock lobster harvest.
The department’s top officials have stopped paying for rock lobster stock assessments and have delayed vital scientific surveys of other fish species such as sardines and hake.
Central to the dispute are the minister, Senzeni Zokwana, and suspended deputy director-general for fisheries Siphokazi Ndudane. Both are embroiled in several controversies, including alleged involvement in an abalone corruption scandal, which they deny.
They are accused of manipulating fishing quotas to favour certain interest groups at the expense of sound management.
West Coast rock lobster, locally known as kreef or crayfish, is a valuable export and a vital source of income for coastal communities that survive largely off poaching – one of the main reasons for species decline – in the absence of formal quotas.
The government is finalising community quotas to address poaching, but communities fear it is too little too late because there will be too little left for them to earn a living.
The species also plays a key ecological “scavenger” role and is a source of food for other species such as the bank cormorant, which is also in decline.
The WWF’s court submission includes affidavits from some of the world’s foremost ocean scientists who attest to an alarming decline in kreef.
“This is serious, and indicates that urgent remedial action is needed,” said Andre Punt, director of the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington.
The WWF wants the court to force fisheries management to return to setting catch limits based on science. It said its evidence raised “very serious and disturbing questions about the integrity and consistency of decision-making” within the department.
Documents before court reveal a series of blunders and contradictions leading to the department’s decision in November to set a kreef quota of 1924 tons – more than double the scientists’ recommendation of 790 tons.
That month, the department signed off on an official document for 790 tons and a press release for 1924 tons. The first document was never publicly released and came to light only after a WWF promotion of access to information application this year. Parts of the document appear to have been redacted.
This week two other global watchdogs joined the fray, warning of possible consequences should the court rule against the department.
The international Marine Stewardship Council said it was monitoring the case in the light of South Africa’s hake MSC certification – a vital stamp of approval needed to export the country’s main commercial fish into the European market and sustain the fishery’s 5000 jobs.
MSC audit team leader Jim Andrews said: “We will be paying attention to the progress of this [legal] process, and when the outcome has been determined we shall review whether or not it has any implications for the ongoing MSC certification of the South African hake fishery.”
Ray Hilborn, a US-based leader in fisheries science who created a country ranking system based on fisheries management – South Africa is ranked sixth – said the WWF’s legal action suggested the department’s conduct “subverts the major elements of sustainable management and puts the long-term productivity of the resource at risk. Such actions would certainly cause the ranking of South Africa to drop appreciably in our survey.”
History has shown that short-sighted fisheries management will only lead to destruction of both the resources and the communities that depend on them
WWF South Africa CEO Morné du Plessis, said the court challenge was a last resort.
“History has shown that short-sighted fisheries management will only lead to destruction of both the resources and the communities that depend on them,” he said.
Neither Zokwana’s office nor the department responded to queries. Ndudane referred queries to acting deputy director-general Belemane Semoli, who could not be reached.
In a statement earlier this year, Ndudane said her kreef decision took several factors into account – not just science. “My consultations with individual small-scale fishers, fishing companies and representatives of the fishing communities … confirmed that a substantial cut to the total allowable catch (by 59%) would result in significant job losses, laying up of approximately 50% of the fishing fleet, and social harm,” she said.
In an affidavit, the WWF’s former marine programme manager John Duncan said Ndudane’s response “reflects the wrong perception that sustainability and socioeconomic considerations are competing considerations that require balancing”.