Chinese trawlers bust in SA waters allowed to depart

Six Chinese fishing trawlers which entered South African waters without permission earlier this month and which were detained by the department of environment, forestry and fisheries have been fined and allowed to leave.

The six ships were intercepted by the fisheries’ patrol vessel Sarah Baartman on April 7 after they had been tracked entering the South African exclusive economic zone off the Northern Cape coast on April 3. The ships had been ordered out of Namibian waters by that country’s maritime authorities.

Fisheries spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said the ships had been held at the outer anchorage off Cape Town, but were allowed into harbour after the Chinese embassy submitted a diplomatic note asking that they be given shelter from adverse weather conditions.

The ships were boarded and inspected, but no fish were found aboard. Their fishing gear was also found to be stowed away.

“There was no evidence of illegal activity while in South African waters. Once the fines had been paid, the six trawlers were released and monitored as they transited South African waters,” Nqayi said.


The vessels were allowed to continue towards Mozambique, but again asked for permission to shelter at Algoa Bay from the SA Maritime Safety Authority after being caught up in heavy weather off Port Elizabeth.  This was granted and they eventually left South African waters on April 20.

Nqayi said that integrated teams consisting of police and fisheries staff had been deployed along the coast during the lockdown period to protect resources and deal with non-compliance of Covid-19 regulations.

The South African Navy has also deployed the offshore patrol vessel SAS Makhanda along the KwaZulu-Natal coast for the duration of the lockdown period.

Navy spokesperson Captain Jaco Theunissen said the Makhanda deployment was to “support the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 by ensuring that no illegal immigrants enter South Africa via the coastline of KwaZulu-Natal”.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

The war on women in video game culture

Women and girls make up almost half of the gaming community but are hardly represented and face abuse in the industry

More top stories

Insecurity and Covid-19: Threats to electoral democracy in Africa

Restrictions to battle the pandemic offer ideal cover for authoritarian regimes to undermine and clamp down on opposition parties

Zondo authorises summons for Norma Mngoma after she withdraws from...

Mngoma cites personal concerns about the way her ‘proposed appearance’ had been ‘handled or mishandled’

Ace tries to widen net to catch all with revised...

Ace Magashule tells provinces to add those accused, but not charged, to step-aside list

South Africa temporarily halts J&J vaccine rollout plan

South Africa opts to voluntarily suspend its vaccination programme following advice from US health authorities after a rare blood clot development.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…