Limpopo Province Finance, Economic Affairs Tourism and Environment
TROPHY HUNTING AND SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS
From: The Deputy Manager: Trophy Hunting and Special Investigations
To: Mr. Trevor Babich Date: 17/06/2002
SUBJECT: FISHING MATTERS LIMPOPO PROVINCE
Thank you for your letter dated sometime during May 2002.08.21. My apologies for not acting thereon but I only received it recently.
The letter somehow did not reach the correct address and therefore we were unable to acknowledge receipt, nor to answer on your questions. It did however land in my lap or should I say landing net as I am also a keen fishermen who participates in organised angling on provincial and National levels.
Your concerns as stated in your letter, has been my concerns as well and we in the province have debated this matter during our drafting process of our new Environmental Bill for the Province. This bill has recently been published for comment and will probably be promulgated within the next two months. We specifically addressed the matter of fishing licences and decided to scrap the general licence but to impose licences on the provincial nature reserves or protected areas as proclaimed in the Bill. So in effect one would not need a licence to angle in waters, which are not inside a protected area. Permits for angling inside protected areas shall be available at the protected areas and anglers should not have a problem obtaining them in future.
Permits for Tout fishing will be abolished as we will no longer protect exotics the way we did in the past.
The money generated form these permits will also not go to central coffers of government but will be channelled back into the reserve management budget. Our protected areas will in future also fall under a provincial Parks Board, which will be more financially self sustainable. These permits will also probably only be valid for short periods of time and one will need a new permit every time you enter the reserve for fishing purposes. We do think that this is a new approach towards fishing licences although we are losing some revenue in the process. This principle must still be accepted by the legislature of the province.
Regarding your questions we concur fully with what the Gauteng province has put forward as answers, as we are currently still applying the same Ordinance 12 of 1983 as well as four acts and ordinances in the former self governing states. This means that one should currently in fact have five different licences to angle in the province. The new legislation will however nullify this as it will revoke those previous statutes once it comes into effect.
In addition to Gautengs answers the following.
1. On the matter of fisheries officers I can state that we do not have specific fisheries officers but that we have law-enforcement officers who does all law-enforcement including fishing. I must also admit that we were severely incapacitated by retrenchments and affirmative action during the last couple of years. We are now trying to build up a new structure to get back on track again. This inability to perform the function has resulted in a very low show of force on the ground and the resulting lawlessness amongst the general public and wildlife industries. To us this is an unacceptable state of affairs and are fighting to rectify this.
2. We do not have a serious problem with gill netting as is the case in Gauteng. The cases we do encounter are of low impact or intensity and are being investigated and some prosecutions have been done.
3. Fishing licences are available in some fishing tackle shops and offices of the Department. We are having certain problems with the equitable distribution thereof but when the new act comes into effect this problem will cease to exist and licenses will be available on reserves where they are applicable.
4. With regards to the way ordinances and acts are being written it is done in legal terms and cannot be done otherwise. It might be a good idea to look into the matter and formulate a more understandable document or booklet on all the aspects of the act in future. I will put this idea forward to the Department. If and when available I will forward a copy to you for publishing on your site.
5. Thank you for your suggestions which we will consider in the final process of our new act which will come into affect soon. I promise to forward more info thereon as soon as it happens.
Congratulations on your site and we hope to contribute towards it in future. We are also committed to protection of our natural resources.
Thank you for your contribution. I also attach hereto a copy of our new Environmental Management Bill (click here to go into the Bill).
We at Fishing Owl do this website as a labour of love and a community service and to say the least we are astounded at the tardy attitude of the directors of the Provincial Nature Conservation Departments or whatever they are now called, gauge the response by the replies on this site at the moment.
The main topic of conversation in this country is the crime rate and the Provincial Departments are encouraging anglers to break the law. Remember angling is the most popular recreational/sport in the country and contributes to tourism and job creation.