Fishing permits issue simmers

The Agriculture Dept. has called for calm as disgruntled fishermen continue to complain about fishing permits.

Fishermen protest outside the entrance to the Hout Bay Harbour on 29 January 2014. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department has called for calm as anger over fishing rights continue to simmer.

Disgruntled fishermen blocked the entrance to the Hout Bay Harbour last week after two fishermen, who had been denied permits, presumably drowned when their boat capsized.

"We cannot give every community permits."

These were the words of Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who says the Western Cape is not the only province that fishing quotas are allocated to.

She was speaking at an event in Mitchells Plain on Sunday, where she said her department would continue to speak to residents about the issue.

"The Hout Bay community has been addressed and we have been working with them. People need to be patient."

The minister has indicated that another round of applications for fishing rights will be made available in the future.