Department's lobster quota ruled 'irrational'
The Western Cape High Court has set aside the government’s lobster quota for 2017-18, ruling it irrational and unlawful, Die Burger reports. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) took on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries about the decision to allow 1 924 tons of lobster to be caught on the West Coast.
Judge Owen Rogers agreed with the environmental organisation that it was arbitrary and irrational to base the quotas from the previous year.
The court held that the Minister and DG should have set the quota at 1 167 tons. The government should have set the quota based on best available scientific evidence as required by international law and not merely an adjustment of the previous season.
Although the lobster catching season is over, the WWF says the judgment is important for the future. West Coast lobster numbers have declined dramatically over the last 50 years. The government was also ordered to pay the WWF’s costs.
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