Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Chinese fishing Trawler seen at Port Edward coastline

We the KZN SUBSISTENCE Fisher folks are concerned about the sighting of the suspicious fishing trawlers once again off our coastline. The vessels have been fishing illegally close to our coastline out of international waters. This continues to happen during the winter months when the sardine shoal and other game fish enter our shores.

The present of the international fishing trawlers continues to occur for a number of years without any of the necessary monitoring vessels from the fisheries department guarding our coastline .We find only once the society starts complaining is there any effort to put a vehicle in the ocean to monitor these fishing trawlers raping our fishing stocks which are depleted already by a number of factors such pollution and mining.

One vessel is not going to be able to monitor this vast ocean of water and there is a need to use more boats to monitor our delicate coastline.


Your report is noted and frankly our department had been unabatedly been receiving reports of this suspicious vessel movements off the coast of Port Edward as of late. These reports had been escalated to the DAFF Fishery Patrol  Vessel Unit under Mr. Andile Moshane and Mrs. Nwabisa Lutshete (copied above) and also to the Vessel Monitoring Unit (VMS) to track the movements of the suspicious vessel.  It was also informed that a patrol vessel is soon to be deployed to area concerned _ Delricia Augustus

For more information Contact:

Desmond D’Sa
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Contact: 031 461 1991 / 083982 6939

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Fish not Oil Campaign Launch

Fish Not Oil Campaign Launch, Durban Beach front 

On the 19th of June 2017, at 9 am the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, together with the subsistence fisher folk of Durban, launched their campaign ‘FISH NOT OIL’ on the Durban Beach front.

The subsistence fisher folk gathered with their rods and reels to show who they are and what they are fighting for. They were given the booklets which will provide important information regarding their rights as fishermen, their responsibilities to stand up for their rights when they are infringed on and housekeeping to ensure they know to keep their fishing areas clean and to practice good fishing habits.

The launch was also a gathering to inform the subsistence fishermen of Durban of the various proposed developments that will take place on our oceans and how they will have an impact on the marine life and marine environment, thus having an impact on their livelihood.  

The occasion was to bring attention of the plight of the Durban poor fisherfolk and how they were being oppressed and discriminated against by Transnet, port security and the police as well as the eThekwini Municipality.

Morgan Govender of the Seine Netters spoke eloquently of his history, since his family arrived over 150 years ago and fished in the Durban Harbour and in the Indian Ocean. He stressed the need for all fisherfolk to be united under the KZN fisherfolk banner to fight for their right to access both the harbour and the ocean.

In attendance as well was Dr Nnimmo Bassey who is a leading environmental activist in his own country of Nigeria. Dr Bassey in his address to the fisherfolk stated that a similar situation prevailed in his country Nigeria where fisherfolk were suffering from the consequences of the exploring of oil and through the destruction of the marine life and agriculture. 

Chadley Joseph
SDCEA Project Officer

Monday, 12 June 2017

Fisherman’s livelihood at risk

Date: 14 June 2017

Venue: Austerville Civic Centre

Time: 17:30pm – 20:00pm

Hitachi Technologies are proposing a desalination plant for the Bluff community. This will have impacts on the people, marine environment and marine animals. A public meeting will be hosted by GIBB, the consultants on this project. It is crucial the public attend and make their concerns heard as this plant will have a drastic effect on the lives of fishermen, members of the Bluff community and people who depend on the ocean.

For more information please contact:

Riaaz Khan (KZN Fisherfolks) -  084 253 1157
Chadley Joseph (SDCEA) – 061 843 6580

SDCEA – 031 461 1991

Monday, 5 June 2017

Fisherfolk Livelihood at Risk

 Sea mining, oil exploration and water treatment projects are set to destroy the ocean and life within

Multiple companies hope to exploit our ocean through projects such as seismic testing, sand winning and the construction of a desalination plant. They will plunder the oceans resources for their own gains, leaving the fisherfolk, who rely on the ocean, to suffer.

Hitachi are proposing a desalination plant for the Bluff community. This facility will bring destruction to the environment, community and livelihoods of fishermen who depend on the ocean. Brine is dumped into the ocean by the plant. Brine is created when the salt is seperated from sea water. Brine causes an increase of salt content and a decrease in oxygen levels in the ocean, causing a permanent loss of habitat, meaning fish will not occupy that area anymore.
Proposed seismic testing will be devastating to the marine environment. Petroleum Geo – Services are planning 2D and 3D seismic testing from the coast of Durban all the way to the coast of Mossel Bay. Seismic surveys are carried out during marine oil and gas exploration in order to investigate whether there is oil in the seabed. If they do find oil, offshore drilling rigs are erected and the oil is drilled from the seabed. The proposed seismic area is along the Agulhas current. The Agulhas bank is an important spawning area for small bait fish such as anchovy, pilchard and mackerel. Seismic testing along this area will disrupt this spawning area, the fish will either leave the area or be killed.
Sandwinning will have a drastic effect on the environment and people. Sandwinning is mining of the ocean seabed for sand. Transnet are the developers and they are proposing to mine a critical sand bank 1.5KM from the mouth of the Durban harbour. The sand bank Transnet is proposing to mine is an important mussel cracker bed that forms part of a marine protected area. Removal of this bank, means the removal of important marine species that is vital to sustainable fishermen. Sandwinning will cause a disruption in the habitats of certain fish species, mussel and cracker. This disruption will lead to these fish, mussel and cracker species leaving the area or be killed.
Some Important information fishermen need to know is; the amount of shad a fisherman can catch and keep has now decreased to two fish per quota. The Transnet permit for the mining of sea sand may be rescinded as fishermen won’t have access to the North and South Piers. Fishing banned on most Durban’s beaches and some fishing piers collapsing  

Plans for Action

·         7TH June 2017 at 6.30pm Fisherman’s meeting at John Dunn Hall
·         16th of June 2017 at 10.00am Fishermen’s Rally Unit 11 grounds Chatsworth.
·         20th June 2017 at 09.00am March through Durban


                     :SDCEA CHADLEY JOSEPH – 061 843 6580 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Desalination Plant and Sand-winning

The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance attended two public meetings on the 17th and 18th of May.

On the 17th a public meeting was held at the Austerville Civic Centre. It was hosted by the consulting firm GIBB and the developer Hitachi. This meeting was to address the public on a proposed desalination plant being built in the Bluff community. The meeting was well attended by members of the community as well as subsistence fisherfolk who are concerned by the desalination plant disrupting their fishing areas by not allowing them to fish or by the facility disrupting fish stocks through its desalination processes. Residents do have a cause for concern because if this plant is approved and constructed, the quality of life would be affected by the residents in the community. The plant emits loud noise throughout the day, almost every day of the week. The fisherfolk have cause for concern as the plant dumps toxic waste in the ocean in the form of brine. This will disrupt fish stocks, meaning a smaller catch for fishermen.

On the 18th of May a public meeting was held at the Royal Natal Yacht Club. It was hosted by Nemai Consultants and Transnet, who are the developers for the project. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain a license to mine sand on the ocean floor. This process is called sandwinning or offshore dredging. This was a public meeting, however, there was no public notice provided by Nemai and Transnet. Resulting in little to no members of the public in attendance, meaning they are unaware of what Transnet is proposing to do. Sandwinning will have a devastating effect on the environment and fisherfolk who depend on the ocean. The dredging process will destroy marine life in the areas they mine and the waste the dredging ships dump will pollute our ocean, killing various species of seaweed, sea plants, fish and food.  

For more information contact:
Chadley Joseph (SDCEA Project Officer)

Phone: 031 461 1991 

"A breath of Fresh Air"

Open Letter: “A breath of fresh air”
To CEO of Transnet Richard Vallihu
Smart Port Upgrade for Durban

Your letter in the Independent on Saturday (27 May 2017) was a breath of fresh air, showing that there is concern about the poor and marginalised who had lived in communities surrounding the port since timey memorial.

We need the dreams of our youth and communities to be fulfilled and Transnet is in the right space and time to do just that, by ensuring everybody, no matter if you’re poor or rich, can be part of the port.

I must also stress past Transnet CEO’s and senior managers marginalised and isolated the subsistence fisherfolk and unemployed from the Durban harbour. This practice continues even though your letter indicates change will happen. Since 911 subsistence fishermen have had to endure fines, harassment, confiscation of fishing equipment and their catches being taken away from both the port security and South African harbour police. The poor man’s transport the Metro Train from Chatsworth to the deep water South Pier has not been in operation because of the train lines for over a year and TRANSNET sister organisation PASSA is unable to fix a simple rail line?  Subsistence fisherfolk and the working class are affected.

We are calling for your written and spoken words of deep seated compassion to be turned into words of action, by opening up fishing areas to the subsistence fishermen and a dedicated centre to be opened for the unemployed in the harbour.  A budget set aside for our own V&A Waterfront for entertainment and recreation to be developed in the Durban harbour.
We call for a stakeholder committee to be immediately set up with clear terms of reference.

Written by Chadley Joseph
SDCEA Project Officer
No 2 John Dunn House
224 Gouritz Crescent
Austerville, Durban, 4052
031 461 1991