Are South Africa's fishing resources under threat from commercial over-fishing? "The answer is 'yes and 'no'," WWF SA Responsible Fisheries programme manager Dr Samantha Petersen told News24 moments before her presentation at the Responsible Fisheries Forum in Cape Town.
"There are many industries out there acting really responsibly and it's about creating the incentive to do so." She added that some industry players are working to improve sustainable fishing practices, while other industries posed a threat to fish stocks by ignoring sustainable practices.
"There are still a large number of industries that are over-harvesting; many of the fisheries resources, internationally and locally, are over exploited," Petersen said. "How we calculate [over-harvesting] is another significant challenge [...] one of the key challenges is the complete collapse of the South African Fisheries Observer Programme - a key component in delivering the information required to effectively manage our fisheries resources," she added.
Many in SA feel strongly about rhino poaching, but there are other less visible animals that don't generate much public sympathy like the Riverine Rabbit, Giant Golden Mole, and the Samango monkey because they are not as 'visible' in the public imagination, Petersen said. "Poaching is a significant challenge, but in many cases the drivers are very different to the rhino, for example," Petersen told News24.
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