Picture Se-Anne Rall
Picture Se-Anne Rall

DURBAN – The Durban beachfront, by the Snake Park was the ideal spot to launch the Fish Not Oil project on Monday morning.

Durban has a large fishing community and a few fish for recreational purposes, while many fish to provide food for their families. On Monday morning, a group of fishermen gathered at Snake Park pier for the launch of Fish Not Oil - an initiative which calls for the government to listen to the plight of fishermen and how oil exploration negatively impacts on the sea.

Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health Of Mother Earth Foundation, said fishermen want the right to fish, having a sufficient catch and to fish according to the law.

“We are asking for clean waters, we are asking for safe food, we are asking for the right for fishermen to carry out their craft – employment, because the fishing sector employs far more Africans than the structive sector,” concluded Bassey.

The fishermen were also provided with books that will aid them in becoming better fishermen. One book teaches you everything you need to know about how to fish, especially issues linked to the law. While the other book teaches about the importance of fish and the nutrients contained in it.

“It teaches them about housekeeping, it teaches them about the size of fish they should catch – if they catch smaller fish, what should they do? Throw it back – it teaches them about the equipment – how it should be left, how it should be dealt with, but more importantly, it teaches them to be role models as fishermen,” said Desmond D’sa, of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance.

In future, the fishermen will engage with the city of eThekwini as well as Transnet, facilitated by the Durban University of Technology.