We heard over the weekend that the Department of Environmental Affairs intends re-zoning the Betty’s Bay Marine Protected Area into no-dive zone due to the rampant abalone and crayfish poaching taking place here.
It will also become a fully restricted, no-take zone. Whilst we are supportive of No-Take Marine Protected Areas, provided they are managed correctly, we strongly object to the no-diving ban that is proposed for this area.
Implementing this ban because authorities are unable to prevent poaching is unacceptable. If diving is stopped in this area, there will no longer be any divers around to deter the poachers from freely going about their illegal activities. Having more law-abiding eyes and ears out on the water in the form of divers can only beneficial to reducing the poaching in the area.
Added to this, we need to stand together to stop the authorities from taking yet another beautiful part of the coastline away from the diving community!
The disturbing trend of blanket bans on diving is on the increase. Already we can no longer dive the famous wreck of the Birkenhead, and can no longer SCUBA dive on the incredible reefs around Cape Point. Where will it stop? For those that are willing to give 5 minutes of their time, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking to register as an Interested and Affected Party and submit an objection. If you don’t have time to compose one of your own, feel free download and use this No Dive Objection as a template (thanks to Jean Tresfon) and send it to email@example.com. This is your only chance to do something, complaining after the fact does not count!
To download the proposal, please click here: Re-Zoning of Betty’s Bay MPA.
Please lend your voice to the public participation process, details are as follows:
Taken from the Betty’s Bay Website:
Anchor Environmental Consultants have given notice of a Public Participation Process on 27 March 2014 @18h00-20h00 to be held in the Crassula Hall.
In line with the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy, the Department of Environmental Affairs intends re-zoning the Betty’s Bay and Robberg Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) and re-zoning and re-aligning the Goukamma Marine Protected Area in the Western Cape Province. This will affect where recreational fishing and diving are allowed in the Betty’s Bay and Robberg MPA’s and where all forms of fishing are allowed in the Goukamma MPA.
A Public Participation Process is being run in accordance with requirements published in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act and the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act to enable Interested and Affected Parties (I&AP’s) to provide comment on this process. I&AP’s are encouraged to register as stakeholders in the process and to attend the public meeting.
To register, stakeholders are required to send an email or fax with name, affiliation and contact details to:
Anchor Environmental Consultants
Tel: 021 701 3420
Fax: 021 701 5280
Closing date for receipt of comments is 25 April 2014