The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN - Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy has approved the lifting of the temporary suspension of the exploratory octopus fishery in Cape Town's False Bay.

It will be lifted next Friday, her office said.

The ban was introduced in late June after concerns were raised that whales were entangled in octopus fishing gear and died, and the lifting of the ban is accompanied by licence conditions that force fishers to take mitigation measures.

These include bottom lines consisting entirely of sinking ropes, moving buoys from the top of the line to the bottom, sheathing the top two metres of the buoy line and placing time-release mechanisms on the buoy.

The ministry said it decided on these and lifting the ban after consultations with the scientific community and fishing stakeholders.

It was decided that the ban would be reintroduced if, in the next two months there should be two or more entanglements of southern right whales or the humpback whales.

“It is imperative that this fishery and all the parties involved do everything possible to ensure, not only the success of the fishery but also the well-being of the environment in which the fishery operates,” Creecy said.

African News Agency (ANA)