Answer to a question from a reader

Am I allowed to catch fish during the lockdown?

The short answer

Under current Level 4 lockdown regulations, it is not allowed

The whole question

I have an angling fish permit. Will I be allowed to catch fish for food during the national lockdown?

The long answer

Although the commercial fishing industry is exempt from lockdown, under current Level 4 lockdown regulations, fishing with a recreational permit is not allowed. 

Various organisations representing fishers have called for the ban to be lifted: Desmond D’Sa of the Durban South Community Environmental Alliance wrote to the president and to the Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Creecy on April 27 to appeal for the lifting of the ban. In his letter D’Sa said that the lockdown had affected over 12 000 subsistence fishers who were unable to make a living and feed their families.

The chairperson of KZN Subsistence Fisher Folk, Riaz Khan, said that fishers didn’t know under which lockdown level they would be allowed to fish. He said that whatever a fisherman caught he used to feed his family and sold the rest to buy essentials.

The South African Consolidated Recreational Angling Association wrote to the National Command Council saying that fishing should be allowed under Level 4 to save jobs and allow people to put food on the table.

But no response has been forthcoming except that the president’s spokesperson has said all matters to do with fishing should be addressed to Minister Barbara Creecy.

Answered on May 21, 2020, 8:52 a.m.

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