Fishing rights rejections lead to suicide attempts

South African Commercial Linefish Association's Wally Croome says dozens are without fishing rights.

Of an estimated 303 line fish permit holders that applied for fishing rights with the Department of Fisheries, only 115 applications were successful. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - At least two fishermen have attempted to commit suicide after they were denied fishing rights by the Department of Fisheries.

Fishing rights that were extended in 2005 expired on New Year's Eve and fishermen were required to re-apply.

Croome says of an estimated 303 line fish permit holders that applied, only 115 applications were successful.

"Devastated, absolutely devastated. They're stunned, they're shocked and they can't believe that this is happening to them. I'm getting continuous reports about people who are suicidal.

"I don't want to try and terrify you but the people are that desperate and are not seeing a way out."