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Curtailed Cape fishing season may cause divers to take risks

3 December 2019 7:21 AM
Tags:
Cape Town
Crayfish
fishing season
SA Underwater Fishing Federation president Derek Dunning says a free diver died catching crayfish in Betty's Bay on Sunday.

On Monday a 43-year-old Bloubergstrand man died while catching crayfish in the Betty's Bay area. This falls during the truncated recreational fishing period as stipulated by the Department of Forestries and Fishing (DAFF).

RELATED: Man dies diving for crayfish at Betty's Bay

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) reported that the man and his friend had been freediving in the water together when he went missing on Sunday afternoon.

President of the SA Underwater Fishing Federation, Derek Dunning speaks to Lester Kiewit, standing in for Refilwe Moloto, about the impact of the shortened recreational dive time in Cape Town.

He says it affects all those who fish, both pole fishers and divers.

The season comprises 12 days, says Dunning. Divers have two days over a weekend and then have to wait another two weeks before they are able to dive for crayfish again.

With the reduced window reduced in such a way that you have two days - Saturday and Sunday - and on the Sunday the weather conditions was not ideal...and it comes down to people taking unnecessary risks.

Derek Dunning, President - SA Underwater Fishing Federation

Dunning says while he understands DAFF's motivation to reduce the recreational crayfish season catch days to allow the species to recover, but does not believe it is the recreational divers that are making the impact.

He warns about diving in conditions that are not ideal.

The swell predicted for Sunday was a 2.8-metre swell...so it is a very strong sea.

Derek Dunning, President - SA Underwater Fishing Federation

He says the conditions on Sunday were not ideal.

Give us 12 diveable days, give us 12 safe days.

Derek Dunning, President - SA Underwater Fishing Federation

Listen to the interview below:


3 December 2019 7:21 AM
Tags:
Cape Town
Crayfish
fishing season

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