Looting Of African Seas.

by T.W. Babich

Did you know that the European Union under the auspices of the Common Fisheries Policy is paying West African States more than 1 billion Britishpounds THAT IS R11 billion so that Spanish and Portuguese fishermen can fish in these West African Waters?

This is the same policy that killed most of the commercial fisheries around Europe. Now they want to do the same to African waters.

This is nothing more than financial colonialism - it is far more effective than sending an army to turn the locals into slaves and then ripping off all the natural resources of their countries.

Here we have some of the richest nations in the world raping African seas FOR WHAT so they can turn most of their catch into cattle feed and fertiliser.

These West African waters support the local economy with income and food, but so far in the year 2000 more than 700 local fishermen have been killed by the night time activities of the Spanish and the Portuguese. They have been run down while fishing their own waters, using traditional methods which ensure sustainable utilisation.

It is not only The Spanish and Portuguese that are raping the seas the following is from "Fishing News" on 15th September; "Atlantic Dawn" Irelands new 50 million British pound THATS 550 MILLION RAND pelagic super trawler, sailed on her maiden voyage to NW African waters last week. This is the biggest capacity ship ever built. 144m long beam 24.3m beam she can carry 7000 tonnes of fish about 2000 tons more than its next rival - 5 whole pages "lauding this monster raping machine to the skies!!

To get up to speed log onto http://guardianunlimited.co.uk/fish/story0,7369,354554,00.html

You might ask what on earth this has got to do with South Africa, well it is happening off our own coastline also with pirate fishing boats flying under flags of convenience and these boats make up a quarter of the world's fishing fleet.

Surely when Ministers Manuel and Moosa doing a great publicity stunt of a pseudo trip on the wild side noticed the lights at sea just beyond the backline - it was not an ESKOM electrification programme it was trawlers from all over the world including South Africa stripping the reefs of fish, all they seemed to notice was the 4X4's on the beaches!!

To hell with globalisation it is another form of colonialisation, charity starts at home. Instead of debating whether 4X4 vehicles should be allowed on our beaches it is time, that issues of more import were concentrated on. The debacle over about R23 million rand missing from saltwater recreational fishing licences also needs to be addressed. Ask yourself why has the price of tunny risen to astronomical proportions on the Japanese fish markets, half a million rand for one bloody fish and a lot of them come from South African waters,surely it is not because the whole world has taken to eating sushi - its what one calls in economic terms the law of supply and demand - in short these fish are getting scarce.

Minister Alec Erwin has stated that no EU countries will be allowed to fish in our territorial waters - Great Stuff, but unfortunately fish have a rather nasty habit of swimming where they want to and that includes around Africa.

We are supposed to be leading the drive for Africa to work together and regain it's independence, one wonders what minister Zuma is doing about it.

The big vested interests with their tame experts are trying to nail the recreational anglers to divert attention away from their greed and to hell with the environmental impact.

The Americans at least deal in facts not subjective arguments and they have proved that recreational angling in the U.S.A. contributes more to the economy and job creation than commercial fishing interests.

we have got Nigel Babbs to come up with another one of his brilliant cartoon.

Clearly from the next copy coming up regarding the formation of an anti-corruption body to act as a watchdog over our own fishing industry, all is not well.