The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff) has kicked off its annual festive season marine protection awareness campaign in Paternoster on the west coast.
Themed “working together to protect our marine resources”, the campaign will have activities in all major coastal cities and towns and will conclude in Richard’s Bay during the second week of January 2015.
Coinciding with the third and longest period in the recreational west coast rock lobster fishing season, the campaign focuses on the illegal fishing, selling and purchasing of particularly near-shore marine resources.
Over-catching and illegal fishing have depleted most near-shore marine resources such as west coast rock lobster (WCRL), prawns, red steenbras and oysters.
Fines are issued to people who are in possession of undersized WCRL and catching WCRL on unpermitted days. Sometimes recreational fishing permits are withdrawn when holders contravene conditions.