Problems with vessels will not affect fish stock allocations - DAFF

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (DAFF) has responded to allegations of an 'administrative meltdown' and an inability to fund crucial research into fish stock levels.

DAFF deputy DG, Siphokazi Ndudane says these allegations are not correct.

Read: DAFF denies its cut dried pine branches intensified Overberg fires

Those allegations are just a sound bite.

Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy DG - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

However, she admits that vessels used to patrol the seas and conduct research have maintenance issues for which budget was not allocated.

The reason this is not budgeted for is that there is a decreasing budget in our finances. We had to fix these vessels endlessly. The fuel costs have increased and all the work we do at sea depends on the weather and sometimes we take longer at sea which takes a toll on our operational costs.

Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy DG - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

We need to come up with a comprehensive strategy to find a way of how we are going to maintain these vessels in order to keep them moving and keeping them at sea.

Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy DG - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

In the next two days, the vessels will be fully operational and doing what they need to do.

Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy DG - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Ndudane says the research into fish stock levels has only been delayed because of the challenges currently being faced. It has not been completely suspended.

There's not going to be any effect on determining the right allocation that needs to be done for this year for the next round of allocation.

Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy DG - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

The reports are completely false and misplaced.

Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy DG - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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