30 January 2018

South Africa: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries On Finalisation of Appeals in Horse Mackerel, Hake Inshore Trawl and Patagonian Toothfish Sectors

press release

Finalisation of appeals in horse mackerel, hake inshore trawl and patagonian toothfish sectors

On 14 July 2017, Minister Senzeni Zokwana (MP) issued his decision on the 91 appeals filed by applicants for Hake Inshore Trawl fishing rights. The decision was issued after the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of the delegated authority and the methodology of allocating fishing rights in the Hake Inshore Trawl sector.

The decisions taken by the Minister were submitted for judicial review applications by Category B and Category C appellants.

Boloko Trading and Investments (Pty) Ltd on 3 August 2017, under case no. 13778/17, approached the Western Cape High Court to direct the Minister to reconsider the appeals filed by Category C appellants.

Thereafter, Hacky Fishing (Pty) Ltd, case no. 23424/2017 and Visko Sea Products (Pty) Ltd & 1 Other, case no. 23129/2017 approached the Western Cape High Court to direct the Minister to reconsider the appeals filed by Category B appellants.

These matters are tentatively set down for February 2018; however the Minister is exploring alternative remedies to swiftly resolve the appeals within Hake Inshore Trawl without litigation.

A further statement will be issued by the Minister within the next 15 days to update members of the public and the fishing industry on progress made in resolving the review applications.

It is the Minister's intention to issue the final decisions in Hake Inshore Trawl before the end of February 2018, should the judicial review applications be resolved on an expedited basis.

The Minister is however, legally advised that until pending judicial review has been resolved, that he is unable to reconsider any matters relating to the Hake Inshore Trawl appeals.

The Minister is presently considering 57 appeals as related to Horse Mackerel fishing rights. However, due to the inter-relatedness of the Hake and Horse Mackerel fishery sector appeals, the appeal decisions in the horse mackerel cannot be finalized until the current hake judicial review applications are resolved.

It is thus anticipated that the Minister will issue his decision pertaining to Horse Mackerel fishing rights appeals by the end of February 2018.

The Minister will in the meantime consider and evaluate 14 appeals relating to the Patagonian Toothfish sector and the Minister's decision in this sector is anticipated to be released within the next 7 working days.

The Minister further foresees finalising his decision on appeals filed in other sectors by the end of March 2018.

Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

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