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National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act

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smurf Wrote:You can get mad or ignore it...the fact is that there are some that are still looking with blinkers on,being indoctrinated with views of 'the past',their head in the sand or up their ass,that profess to 'guide' the lawmakers in a direction that benefits the people based upon their limited knowledge of the bigger picture.I for one,will choose to ignore the assumption that bass,trout or carp are 'illegal' species.There are FAR more pressing needs to regulate,such as pollution of the river systems through industry dumping and groundwater seepage,the destruction of wetlands due to development (where there is megabuck handouts to ministers) and the blatant removal of one's right to participate in a democratic decision making process.Getting mad will only elevate the tension level and you will be forced to take the day off,not contribute to the economy and partake in what you consider to be your rightful I will release my catch so it has a chance to propogate for future generations to enjoy,and while I do this,I will pick up someone else's litter,I will stay in a small town guest house or campsite,I will contribute to that town's economy by purchasing fuel,food and drink from the local source,for without me and others like me,those towns will collapse,so will the municipal camp site facilities,as will the sale of fresh water angling licences (what are these for I must ask ?), yearly boat surveys and other related requirements.Shops will close,people will lose their jobs and join the ever increasing queues at the unemployment offices,waiting for a handout because someone at the top level thought it a good idea to criminalise these 'alien' fish species.For me,I don't get mad...I am going to continue supporting my sport because it supports a whole lot more than you will see if your head is up your ass.

Dam! Where is the like button?
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I second Web!!
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So do these lawmakers actually know how much money is spent on recreational fishing in South Africa and how many jobs are supported by the industries and businesses that support it. I very much doubt any of us are going to waste out time fishing for the crappy indigenous fish they are trying to protect (not sure the minister even knows what they look like). So we will stop supporting the tackle shops, the guest houses, boat manufacturers, mechanics etc and jobs will shed.

Some of us will move to fishing in the sea and put more pressure on the already strained resources
Goodbye Trout?

South Africa’s proposed legislation for alien and invasive species claims to minimise damage to biodiversity by all alien species. But the trout fishing industry believes it’s being unfairly targeted.

Rainbow and brown trout were introduced to South Africa’s rivers and streams more than a century ago. Today they form the basis of a fly-fishing industry worth an estimated R3,5-billion. However, the second draft of the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations, published by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in April 2009, classifies trout as alien invasive species.

The Bill groups alien species into three main categories. There are no restrictions for exempt aliens (eg, goldfish) and no permissions for prohibited aliens (eg, snakeheads). Invasive aliens, however, are subject to different types of control. Trout have been placed in a subcategory ‘controlled by area’. This will allow people to fish (including catch and release), farm, breed and stock them, but only within designated zones. Other valuable sport fish such as carp, barbel and bass are in the same subcategory.

Rainbow and brown trout are listed by the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group among the world’s 100 worst invasive aliens. Yet, according to Leonard Flemming, Western Cape chairman of the Fly Fishing Federation of South Africa (FOSAF), most of South Africa’s fly-fishing fraternity believes trout should be classified as an exempt species.

‘Trout is naturalised here,’ says PJ Jacobs, editor of The Complete Fly Fisherman. ‘It’s in equilibrium and poses no threat to any indigenous species where it currently occurs.’ He says trout’s range is limited in South Africa and that they effectively zone themselves. ‘Bass and carp areas continue to grow, but trout’s territory is shrinking,’ he says. ‘I wouldn’t stand for having trout introduced in new areas, but trout should be protected everywhere they currently occur.’

An invasive species can be defined as having a self-perpetuating population that causes ecological harm. ‘We have to stock our waters with trout every year because they don’t breed,’ said Alan Hobson of the Angler and Antelope in Somerset East, ‘so they can’t be invasive here.’ Johan van Jaarsveld of Eastern Cape Fly Fishing agrees: ‘Trout are being targeted because they’re easy to get rid of.’ But Dr Ernst Swartz of the South African Institute of Aquatic Biology says there are still many rivers where trout populations could establish.

‘In some cases, trout might not be able to move themselves, but they can be invasive through human activity,’ says Swartz, who heads up the mapping team contracted to draw up the alien fish zones. They’re using data from the National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas project to exclude important biodiversity areas, but are also working closely with the fly-fishing industry to understand where their prime fishing areas are. Swartz says by far the majority of these will be inside the zones. ‘It’s pretty much status quo unless there are critical biodiversity issues,’ said Swartz.

Jacobs is sceptical and believes the mapping process is being approached the wrong way round. ‘Areas that are ecologically sensitive should be zoned out of having any alien species,’ he says. Van Jaarsveld agrees. ‘Rather zone trout out than in. It’s much easier to police and doesn’t limit growth of the industry.’ The problem with this approach is that new biodiversity areas are continually being discovered. The maps will need to be reviewed annually and Van Jaarsveld is concerned trout zones might be made smaller. ‘They could strangle us,’ he says.

Flemming is more optimistic. ‘This may sound contradictory, but trout fishing could benefit in the long run – if the fly-fishing fraternity and conservation bodies are willing to engage in a positive way.’ Swartz points out that the trout industry has been operating in a legal vacuum since the 1980s, when legislation protecting trout was removed. ‘For the first time, the law will allow the guys to run legitimate fisheries,’ he says. ‘It’s on a map and recognised.’

Swartz and Flemming both believe misinformation is at the heart of the dispute. ‘When we’ve sat around the same table, there’s been very little controversy,’ says Swartz.

‘The trout industry needs to engage with this process,’ says Cape Nature fish scientist Dean Impson. ‘If there are prime fishing waters we aren’t aware of, tell us.’ Since the primary concern is protecting biodiversity, however, Impson acknowledges that there are bound to be some conflicts and a need for compromise. ‘We’re looking at trout zones inside some World Heritage Sites and nature reserves,’ he says. ‘Now that’s compromise!’

This article from: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->
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Hey Gents, I fully understand your frustrations regarding this and I feel the same way, but maybe we should just calm down a little, hold the nasty comments about the law passers as hard as it is. This act will still have to be passed in parliament and I can guarantee that the whole economic impact will have to be discussed. We can go on making ourselves upset and threaten suicide and all and it wont change anything. There are ways to get attention from our governing bodies if we need. I have just heard from a good source that it will not be passed as easily as everyone is thinking. This source was asked to send the link of this site on after discussion with a higher power, however due to our comments regarding the powers that be, this is not possible. so maybe for the sake of peace and your own health, just relax and lets see what happens. worst case I think will happen is we will pay more for our fishing licenses as it will just be another way to tax us for the income of the state.
Yo Brenden. Dont even go to the Worst case Scenario of Tax or License Fee increases. :blue-badgrin: :blue-biggrin:
Brenden, I hear you boet but perhaps read post 1 again on this thread - the article by Ian Cox.

Herewith a formal perspective from our mates in the fly fishing game:



Pietermaritzburg has had a relatively mild winter thus far. Not quite the brass monkey weather we've got used to over the last few decades. Still it's been cold enough to enjoy the warm glow of the hearth ablaze with wattle and pine.

You will recall that I promised to update you on our meeting with the Department of Environmental Affairs. The meeting happened, we were able to get sight of the proposed Alien and Invasive Species Regulations in terms of NEM:BA, and submitted comment on these in March this year. FOSAF has finally received a reply from the Director General of Environmental Affairs in response to our comments. We have requested further information but the final paragraph of the DG's letter offers some hope. She says: "You have raised a very specific concern that NEM:BA compels the authorities to eradicate listed invasive species. The view of the Department is that management (rather than requiring the eradication) of listed invasive species is consistent with NEM:BA, and this view is confirmed by both the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor legal opinion and independent legal experts. The specialists in the Environmental Programmes Branch responsible for the implementation of the AIS Regulations, have stated that eradication of category 1b species is virtually impossible, given their abundance and propagule dispersal. Even if it were feasible, the marginal cost of eradication is so high, that it would severely limit any capacity to deal with the spectrum of invasive species in the country. The DEA is mindful of the fact that trout poses a lower risk to biodiversity in certain areas, and therefore believes that the concern that trout will be targeted for eradication is neither consistent with NEM:BA nor aligned to the species management priorities and plans of the authorities."

While we remain deeply concerned at the fact that trout will be categorised as invasive (category 1b) there are nevertheless some reasons for optimism: NEM:BA is in the process of being amended to provide space for the exemption of invasive species. This will remove the hurdle to the idea of managing trout by demarcated areas. Secondly, the DG's reply quoted above makes it clear that the DEA simply doesn't have the resources or capacity to ardently follow up on the threats previously made by some officials and purists. Lastly, the DEA will need to work with all stakeholders to develop management plans for each species and FOSAF will play a role in ensuring your interests are taken into account.

FOSAF needs your support to get all of this work done. By joining us your membership fee makes a small contribution to keeping us in a position to get much of this important work done.

An interesting perspective but where is a formal perspective for our sport, bass fishing that is?

All this song & dance still doesn't contribute to an inlands fishery policy for SA, which is severely lacking. Take for instance our Barbel, they have become extremely invasive in some waters yet the act doesn't cater for "indigenous invasive aliens".......!
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Just a whole bunch of people who are in it for the money and as long as the law doesn't affect them then they're happy to pass anything, no regard for anyone else cause their pockets are lined.
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Herewith a snippet from someone in the know and involved in the inlands fishery policy making decisions:

"1b management programme means that a national strategy will be developed for MANAGEMENT. Control does not equal eradication but rather control in areas of biodiversity concern AND a permit has always been necessary for stocking. So the doom prognosis is a bit misguided. Anyway will keep you up to speed re developments."
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Herewith a very sobering perspective:

Is this the end of the line for freshwater fishing?
12:00 (GMT+2), Wed, 09 October 2013By Ian Cox

Trout, carp and bass, introduced to SA more than 100 years ago, are now listed as invasive alien species. Fly fisherman Ian Cox talks about the impact of this on the freshwater fishing industry.

Trout, bass and carp fishermen woke up on 20 July as potential criminals. If they ever again caught any of these fish, they would be liable for a fine of up to R10 million or a period of imprisonment of up to 10 years. Moreover, people whose livelihoods depend on these trout, bass and carp fishermen woke up to the fact that what they did for a living was either under threat or, in some cases, a criminal offence.

This situation came about because the previous day the minister of water and environmental affairs listed trout, carp and bass as invasive, alien species in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA). There was no prior consultation with affected parties. Nor was consideration given to the fact that the economies of some areas in South Africa depend largely on the business of recreational fishing and that there have been substantial investments made and profits earned in these businesses.

Divergent approaches
NEM:BA came into being when South Africa, along with most countries in the world, signed the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. This convention obliges member countries to promote biodiversity on terms aligned with the aims and objectives of the convention to the extent that the country convened has the resources to do so. NEM:BA is unique in that it is the only legislation in the world where the convention has been so comprehensively adopted as part of a country’s domestic law. Thus NEM:BA follows the scheme set out in the convention by legislating protection of indigenous species through the control and eradication of listed invasive and alien species.

But there is an important difference between the definitions given by these two bodies. Both define alien species as any species introduced into an environment by man. However, the convention makes invasive any alien species that threatens another species. Thus, the convention sees man as a threat. The NEM:BA, on the other hand, must stay true to the Constitution and balance that threat against the benefits that an alien species brings to man.

A species must pass three tests before it is legally invasive under NEM:BA. It must spread outside its natural range, it must threaten other species, ecosystems or habitats, and it must threaten environmental or human health. One would assume that no species would be listed as invasive without an assessment being done into its economic and sociological impacts. However, no such studies have been done by the department.

Listing Invasive Species
NEM:BA was recently amended to allow a species to be listed as invasive in a number of different ways. It could for instance be declared invasive across the whole country or in particular areas.However, in an email to the Federation of South African Fly Fishers (Fosaf), a senior departmental officer explained that although many species are only invasive in parts of the country, the department has decided to list them as invasive throughout the country.

This has been done because the department fears that species translocation will be easier if the species are not listed nationally. It is unclear if trout, bass and carp fall into this category. What is clear, however, is that declaring a species invasive only in areas where this is shown to be so is not possible, once a species has been listed nationally.

The fact that trout, bass and carp all provide significant social and economic benefits should make it impossible to list them nationally as invasive species. However, instead of applying the three-part test, the department has followed the convention stating that an alien species is invasive once it is shown to pose a threat to any other species anywhere in South Africa. This approach is incompatible with NEM:BA and the Constitution, both of which require economic and social impacts to be prioritised in any assessment of invasiveness. It also creates serious practical difficulties in implementing NEM:BA.

It is impossible to achieve the aims and objectives outlined in the convention, not just in South Africa but in any country. No country has the resources to turn back the clock and remove alien or invasive species once they are established. Senior officials of the department have said as much. The department proposes a pragmatic approach to deal with the problem of invasiveness. So, although trout, bass and carp are listed as invasive, the department recognises that not much can be done about it.

The more so, since there are economic and sociological benefits that come with continued exploitation of these species. Thus the department will tolerate some of the damage they claim that trout, bass and carp cause because these fish are also beneficial. This will be done on the basis that the user pays for damage. With this in mind, the department intends to amend the regulations again. This time it will allow for a broader categorisation of invasive species – perhaps in line with the scheme that applies to wattle, blue gum and pine trees (which are not listed as invasive) in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (Cara).

Alien Control
The trouble with this approach is that it is incompatible with NEM:BA. It is not a pragmatic law but one that holds true to the convention’s ideals. This contrasts with the way in which NEM:BA deals with invasive species.The convention states that invasive species must be controlled. Control is defined to mean combat or eradicate an alien or invasive species or, where such eradication is not possible, to prevent, as far as may be practicable, the recurrence, re-establishment, re-growth, multiplication, propagation, regeneration or spreading of an alien or invasive species.

The Act is very strict about how one goes about this. Everybody owes a duty of care in respect of invasive species subject to their control. National and provincial government must prepare plans that identify the problem and propose interventions to achieve that control. Failure to do so can lead to legal proceedings being instituted against anyone who fails to do so. The Kloof Conservancy has already done this, complaining that the department took too long to implement the law, exposing the citizens of Durban to the ravages of bugweed and lantana.

The point is that the obligation to control does not give the department the kind of flexibility it says it has in order to deal with economically and sociologically useful species such as trout, bass or carp. It cannot regulate levels of invasiveness. The nature of the control that is required to apply under NEM:BA is inflexible.

Restricted Activities
Section 71, read with section 101 of NEM:BA, makes it a criminal offence to carry out a restricted activity in respect of a listed invasive species without a permit. Restricted activities are broadly defined to include growing, breeding, transporting, selling or donating an invasive species. Thus, operating a hatchery, offering fresh or frozen trout for sale and fishing (or at least catching trout, bass or carp and thereby exercising control over it) are also crimes.

Some argue that this is not the case if you are fishing someone else’s waters and release what you catch, but this is debatable. The trouble is that you cannot get a permit at present because the regulations under which permits are granted are not in force and won’t be until at least April next year. The department claims that this means the list of invasive species is not yet operational, but this is not technically correct. The regulations are promulgated under a separate section to that which applies to the lists.

The two sections are unrelated. The minister erred in publishing the lists when the regulations were not yet in force. This probably means they can be set aside as invalid but until someone goes to the expense of doing so, they remain legally enforceable.

NEM:BA has recently been amended to allow restricted activities to be exempted, thus rendering legal activities that would otherwise be illegal. However, this can only be done once the regulations are in place and after a risk assessment has been carried out. This cannot start until the regulations are in force. It is not clear if this is how the department proposes to manage trout, bass and carp under NEM:BA. I think it will be difficult, given the overriding obligation to eradicate or, if this is not possible, inhibit an invasive species.

Unworkable law
The department has failed to explain how the legal requirement of control can be aligned with the continued exploitation of an invasive species as an economically and sociologically beneficial resource. The department undertook to give Fosaf a legal explanation but later withdrew this offer. It is an understatement to describe this as a bit of a mess. NEM:BA became law just over nine years ago, but has failed to get off the ground. I suggest this is because the law itself is unworkable. Parliament should never have slavishly followed the convention; no one else has and for good reason.

This latest attempt to make the law operational is also doomed to failure – an unfortunate failure given that it has criminalised activities enjoyed by South Africans for more than a hundred years. It is also disturbing in that it demonstrates the department’s willingness to ignore the rule of law in what, at the end of the day, is an attack on the constitutional rights of citizens. We need to know that the government will put our needs as human beings uppermost.

The views expressed in our weekly opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Farmer’s Weekly.

Issue date: 20 September 2011
(would imagine the date should actually be 2013....?)
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Now if only we had passionate people to put our bass in perspective, such as the trout guys! Everything you wanted to know about NEMA and NEM:BA legislation, in a nutshell and MUCH MORE.....

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National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004): Draft Alien and Invasive Species Lists, 2014 was published on the 12'th February 2014 - this week. It would appear that recreational bass angling is safe for now except certain waters which occur in protected areas - no names mentioned!

Herewith to view and save:


And herewith some important snippets in jpeg: click to view and enlarge

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So now we need to know about the Protected Areas Act:


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Please note only the formal protected areas were updated in the NBA 2011 for informal protected areas refer to the NPAES protected areas layers in the Protected areas section of BGIS go to NPAES

The formal protected areas on this map include land-based and marine protected areas that are recognised in terms of the Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003). These are:

Formal A Protected Areas

Forest Act Protected Area
Specially protected forest areas, forest nature reserves and forest wilderness areas declared in terms of the National Forests Act, 1998 (Act No. 84 of 1998)

Island Reserve
A sub-set of provincial nature reserves, which are islands administered by provinces in terms of provincial legislation

Marine Protected Area
An area declared as a marine protected area in terms of section 43 of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act No. 18 of 1998)

National Park
An area declared in terms of the National Parks Act, 1976 (Act No. 57 of 1976), or in terms of Section 20 of the Protected Areas Amendment Act, 2004 (Act No. 31, 2004), including private areas declared under this legislation

Other national protected area
A nature reserve other than a national park or special nature reserve, managed by a national organ of state or which falls under the jurisdiction of the Minister for any other reason

Provincial Nature Reserve
An area declared in terms of section 23 of Protected Areas Act, 2003 (No. 57 of 2003), or declared in terms of provincial legislation for conservation purposes, and which is managed by a provincial organ of state, including private areas declared under this legislation

Special nature reserve
An area which was a special nature reserve in terms of the Environment
Conservation Act, 1989 (Act No. 73 of 1989), or an area declared in terms of section 18 of Protected Areas Act, 2003 (No. 57 of 2003)

World Heritage Site
A world heritage site declared in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No. 49 of 1999)

Marine Protected Area, usually associated with an adjacent terrestrial protected area and managed by the same agency.

Formal B Protected Areas

Mountain Catchment Area
An area declared in terms of the Mountain Catchment Areas Act, 1970 (Act No. 63 of 1970)

Local Nature Reserve
A nature reserve which is managed by a municipality, potentially of undefined legal status

National Botanical Garden
A reserve managed by the South African National Botanical Institute

It does not include:
•Informal conservation areas (e.g. conservancies)
•Non-natural areas within Protected Environments

This formal protected areas layer is an updated version of the one used in the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy 2008 (NPAES). This layer has additional data for contact nature reserves for the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal provinces have been added (proclaimed by end December 2011). Spelling and classification errors in the attribute table for the Western and Northern Cape provinces were also updated.
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The following report was published in May 2012 and I would imagine was a precursor to pending legislation. The assessment was conducted in 2011.

Volume 2: Freshwater Component

Be warned, it is 167 pages long and over 14mb in size and contains extremely detailed and useful information. it is too large to upload here but is available at: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="" onclick=";return false;"> ... hwater.pdf</a><!-- m -->
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