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Abalone battle ensues between MCM and AIASA

by Selwyn Bergman
on 19 Nov 2007
Oceanography SA
Oceanography SA

Tensions between Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) and the Abalone Industry Association of South Africa (AIASA) reached a new high when about forty perlemoen industry representatives abandoned a meeting with MCM in last week.

Rights holders became uneasy when the director of Inshore Management, Ntobeka Bacela, declined to comment on how this season's Total Allowable Catch of 75 tons for one zone only had been determined. Bacela stated that the matter was the subject of a court case and was therefore sub-judice.

Representative of the Abalone association, David Klatzow, accused Bacela of not understanding the sub-judice rule and of being "unqualified and incompetent". Klatzow also said that rights holders wanted to know why recommendations from the Scientific Working Group had been altered by an MCM official before it was handed to Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, allegedly causing van Schalkwyk to make a misinformed decision regarding Abalone harvesting. Frustrated at Bacela's responses to the questions, Klatzow advised members to abandon the meeting.

After the meeting, Bacela voiced his disappointment over its degeneration - saying that he was shocked when Klatzow and his associates launched a personal attack on him.

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