Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
8 April 2019
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Abalone of 50.5 tons for the 2018/19 fishing season has been set aside.
In a statement, the agriculture, forestry and fisheries department announced that the adjustment of the TAC follows an appeal lodged by the Abalone commercial rights holders and Abalone Zonal Representatives.
According to the department, some of the reasons for the appeal included lack of adequate consultation during the determination process, determination of the TAC not based on any scientific and biological surveys to determine stock abundance, socio-economic implications of reducing TAC and the effect on poaching caused by a TAC reduction.
The Abalone commercial rights holders and Abalone Zonal Representatives called for the TAC to be set aside.
The department acknowledges that a “new and comprehensive approach” is urgently needed to deal with issues in the Abalone sector.
Steps that need to be taken include rooting out corruption within DAFF, dealing with poaching via a well informed and realistic strategy, relooking at the department’s scientific methodology for determining TAC and the need to balance with socio-economic aspects and including the small-scale fishing sector in the Abalone rights allocation process.
The new TAC is set at 96 tons for the 2018/2019 fishing season.
The department also announced that the “2018/2019 fishing season will commence from the date of signature of my Record of Decision letter for 9 months, the same number of months as that of the normal Abalone fishing season”.