SA deep-sea fishers lose legal battle
The Cape High Court dismisses the application from hake deep-sea trawl rightholders, which was welcome by the government department.
Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk express his joy over the dismissal of an application from hake deep-sea trawl rightsholders. In the application the rights holders - Laingville, Foodcorp, Hoxies and Bato Star's - had sought to overturn the decisions by Van Schalkwyk and the delegated authority in the Hake Deep-Sea Trawl fishery on the allocations of long-term commercial fishing rights during 2006. The Cape High Court dismissed the application and also ordered the applicants to pay Van Schalkwyk's legal costs. It was in May 2005, Cabinet approved 19 'Sector Specific Policies' including the Hake Deep-Sea Trawl fisheries policy and the 'General Policy'. According to source Van Schalkwyk invited applicants for rights to undertake commercial fishing in the Cluster, A including the Hake Deep-Sea Trawl fisheries. He appointed deputy director-general, Dr Monde Mayekiso, as the delegated authority to be responsible for all the allocation of long-term commercial fishing rights. After the public hearings, certain issues were referred for further legal advice before final decisions by the minister. It is said that all applicants who reviewed the proceedings to overturn the decisions by Van Schalkwyk were successful in obtaining long-term fishing rights. As the court reject the application the rightholders had argued that Van Schalkwyk was not entitled to 'grant exemptions' to applicants who failed to lodge their applications on time'.
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