Photo: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Businesses using the Hout Bay harbour for their commercial fishing have been advised to divert their landings to Cape Town harbour with immediate effect.

This came after protests resulted in damage to state property, coastal offices of the Department of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries being set alight and alleged threats to the lives of the officials on site in Hout Bay.

“Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has made a decision to inform all stakeholders such as the Hake Longline Association, The Tuna Association and the Pelagic Association who usually use Hout Bay harbour for their commercial fishing landings to divert their landings to Cape Town harbour with immediate effect.

‘‘This decision is due to the current unrest and volatile situation in Hout Bay harbour.

“Notification for landings must continue to be channelled to the chief inspector of Hout Bay harbour, Mr Lucas Finnish. His contact details are on the permit conditions. His email address is: [email protected],” said the department yesterday.

This contingency plan to divert commercial landings from Hout Bay harbour to Cape Town harbour would remain in place until further notice, said the department.

Angry Hangberg residents clashed with police after two days of searching for a young fisher, presumed lost at sea, after an altercation with authorities on Friday.

The fisher is alleged to have been fishing illegally. A missing person docket was opened for investigation.

Two fishermen arrested for poaching on the day their skipper and Hangberg resident Durick van Blerk went overboard on Friday were released on bail after appearing at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on charges of possession of crayfish.

The department’s spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana, said: “Engagements with the community will take place. The cause of the protest is unknown at this stage but there are allegations that the community was unhappy with enforcement efforts that took place on Friday, August 10, resulting in the arrest of two suspects and the suspected drowning of a third suspect.

‘‘The department wishes to place it on record that neither its vessels nor personnel were involved in the anti-poaching operation on Friday, August 9.”

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they were aware of media reports about Friday’s incident and were following up with the police. He said no formal report had been received by Ipid.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said officers with two rubber ducks and one rescue dog continued searching for the missing person yesterday.

“The family was informed of the procedure that will take place while searching for the missing person.

‘‘Two suspects appeared in the Wynberg court for possession of crayfish; both were granted bail of R1 000 each and the case has been remanded to September 20,” said Traut.

He said four suspects arrested for arson would appear today at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

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