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WWF South Africa v Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and others

31 July 2018

This matter concerns a dispute over the total allowable catch (TAC) set for West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) in terms of section 14(1) of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have put out contradictory information about the TAC that has been set for the WCRL. One source suggests that the TAC has been set at 1924,08 tons and another, 790 tons, which is the number that was recommended by the WCRL Scientific Working Group (SWG).

WWF South Africa has launched an application in the High Court requesting an order declaring that the TAC for WCRL for the 2017/18 season is 790 tons, alternatively, and in the event that the TAC for WCRL for the 2017/18 season was determined by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to be 1924,08 tons, that that determined is set aside on review.

WWF South Africa also seeks an order that the TAC for WCRL for the 2018/19 and later seasons not be determined at levels beyond which the integrity of WCRL resource is jeopardised.

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Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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