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2020/21 West Coast Rock Lobster TAC Set Down

October 26, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The 2020/21 West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and the Recreational Fishing Season has been announced.

In a statement, the environment, forestry and fisheries department pointed out that a TAC of 837 tons has been determined for the 2020/21 fishing season, taking in to account the “impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry, the highly depleted status of the West Coast Rock Lobster Resource, and lower-than expected resource status indicators”.

The environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, declared that increasing the catch allowance for the new season is designed to assist the sector in its economic recovery.

The department also announced that the 2020/21 WCRL recreational fishing effort is limited to 12 days between 28 November 2020 and 3 April 2021.

WCRL may be caught between 08h00 until 16h00 daily and the bag limit is four per person per day and the size restriction is 80 millimetres carapace length.

The department added that no person catching WCRL with a recreational fishing permit is allowed to sell their catch.

Meanwhile, the date for the submission of the subsequent pollution prevention plans in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act of 2004 has been announced.

In Government Gazette 43827, the department announced that the subsequent plans are due for submission on 31 May 2021.

According to the department, the plans get reconciled at the end of each five-year phase.

“To develop and finalize the new plans for the subsequent phase for the period 01 January 2021 to 31 December 2025, companies are given five months from the time the lifespan of the existing one ceases.”

The proposed process to manage the carbon budgets for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022 is also set out.

The department calls on companies to optionally use the period between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2022 as a pilot period to pilot the linking of the carbon budgets and mitigation plans so that by the time the carbon budgets become mandatory in 1 January 2023, the new system will already have been in use.

The department also indicated that, once the Climate Change Act is promulgated, Regulations for Carbon Budget and Mitigation Plans will be developed, accompanied by the carbon budget methodology and requirements for content of mitigation plans in preparation for implementation beyond the pilot period transitional arrangement.

In September 2020, the department confirmed that the Draft Climate Change Bill is being finalised.

The draft bill, published for comment in 2018, seeks to:

• build the Republic’s effective climate change response and the long term, just transition to a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society in the context of an environmentally sustainable development framework; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.