Cape fishermen demand meeting with Fisheries Dept over fishing quotas

The department is expected to announce the total allowable catch of West Coast Rock Lobster, which could be reduced by up to 59%.

A fisherman looks at his catch in the village of Paternoster. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Some West Coast fishermen have demanded that the Fisheries Department meet with them before announcing new fishing quotas.

The department is expected to announce the total allowable catch of West Coast rock lobster (WCRL), which could be reduced by up to 59%.

Department officials, however, have stated this is simply a proposed recommendation and does not mean it will be implemented.

Earlier on Friday, small-scale fishers handed over a memorandum to department officials in Cape Town, demanding that full commercial WCRL fishing rights be stopped in order to conserve the species and to allow only “livelihood” catches.

Coastal Links South Africa national secretary Christian Adams says that if the department implements a drastic reduction, fishermen could lose up to half their income.

“We went to the department and handed over a memorandum asking them to stop industrial and trap boat fishing rather than taking away from small-scale fishers under the interim relief exemption.”

Last week, violent protests broke out in Hangberg over the proposed fishing quotas.

WATCH: Hangberg residents clash with police

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)