Judy Sole of the Green Party

Cape Town - The government and the industry are opposing a high court application to effectively halt all commercial catching of West Coast rock lobster (kreef) until this valuable but hugely depleted natural resource has sufficiently recovered.

The application, to be heard today, is being brought by Green Party founder Judy Sole, who says she is acting on behalf of the people of South Africa.

In December, Sole’s bid for an urgent interdict to stop kreef fishing was thrown out of court and she was criticised by the judge for submitting a “fatally defective” application – partly because she had not served notice on all 2 700-odd rights holders in the industry.

Sole believes she has now remedied this by “reluctantly” serving her notice of motion and application on the elected representative interests of all these quota holders.

The respondents are Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and her deputy director-general responsible for fisheries, Greta Apelgren-Narkedien.

“Interested parties” are:

FishSA, a body of recognised associations in the fishing industry;

the West Coast Rock Lobster Association, the industry’s recognised industrial body;

the Artisanal Fishers Association, representing “many hundreds of small-scale and subsistence fishers with limited quotas”;

the Masifundise Development Trust, focusing on fishing communities and also representing small-scale and subsistence fishers;

the SA United Fishing Front, representing small-scale and subsistence fishers.

By Monday, Joemat-Pettersson, Apelgren-Narkedien and the rock lobster association had indicated their intention to oppose Sole’s application. - Cape Argus