Govt's fishing quota for West Coast rock lobster unconstitutional, court rules

The Western Cape High Court has ruled the total allowable catch (TAC) set by the government for West Coast rock lobster last season was unconstitutional.

Environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) took the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to court to challenge the 2017/18 quota of 1 924.08 tons.

There are concerns that poaching and overfishing have threatened the West Coast rock lobster, commonly known as kreef, to critical levels.

Read more: West Coast rock lobster dwindling due to poaching, says fisheries prof

WWF's Dr Theresa Frantz explains that the marine resource is currently at 1.9% of its original stock.

WWF now expects DAFF to set the next season’s TAC at a level that will allow the West Coast rock lobster to recover.

We took the matter to court because the scientists had recommended a level of 790 tons for the 2017/18 season.

Dr Theresa Frantz, head of WWF SA's Environmental programmes

This was to allow the West Coast rock lobster [time] to recover.

Dr Theresa Frantz, head of WWF SA's Environmental programmes

Our resource is so depleted that we have less than 2% of the original stock left.

Dr Theresa Frantz, head of WWF SA's Environmental programmes

Visit the WWF website to learn more or read full judgement here.

Listen to the in-depth discussion on The John Maytham Show:


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