Criminals are gutting our environment

“THE significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955).

Today this is so true. As society we have challenges far greater than the root cause. The so-called knock-on or avalanche effect.

Bag limits pertaining to angling are new to us, relatively speaking, in comparison to the exploitation that has resulted as a lack of foresight when it really counted back then many years ago.

As a result, drastic measures are placed upon us and we become more disillusioned. The beach driving bans is an example.

The recreational shore scuba divers dare not even think of a dive as they run the gauntlet among the poachers. Where does it end or does it just get another dimension?

Laws are necessary but enforcement (compliance monitoring and surveillance) is even more important than it ever was before.

Society today demands protection from the minority criminal element that appears to have free reign.

The Tuna Classic has once again come and gone. The spirit and camaraderie was as good as always but the “catch” was nothing to talk about.

Thousands of rands were ploughed into the quest of a prize fish and what a disappointment to all. Over the past few years I have noticed a huge reduction in the size of the fish weighed.

Most fish don’t weigh enough (at least 15kg to count in the competition). This is attributed not only to global warming.

The foreign long-line fishing off our coast is the real problem. They exploit these waters at will, and usually prior to the Tuna Classic, which is planned around the migration patterns of these fish.

A few years ago I was present when 15 containers were removed from a vessel bound for the Far East.

She was directed to the Coega Harbour, where the vessel was searched. These containers were found to be in contravention of their declared contents (beef and chicken). The tuna were stacked like grains of rice inside these massive refrigerated containers. This is the reality of the exploitation taking place. This is, I believe, just the tip of the ice- berg! There are smuggling syndicates that are making huge money at the cost of the environment.

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