On 07 September 2016 the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries through its Vessel Monitoring System spotted a Taiwanese Vessel Chin Jen Wen entering South African Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) sailing from Mossel Bay direction to Cape Town direction. It was established that the vessel did not apply for any permit from the department. Fishery Control Officers (FCOs) who were on board the Fisheries Protection Vessel Victoria Mxenge in Overberg region were alerted and they intercepted the Taiwanese Vessel in the morning of 08 September 2016.
The FCOs boarded and inspected the Taiwanese Vessel and established that it had fishing gear and bait on board without a permit. The vessel was instructed to sail to Cape Town Port for thorough inspection. Initially the vessel complied and moved towards Cape Town port direction, but after a short while it stopped. It was again instructed to proceed but it did not cooperate. Another Fisheries Protection Vessel was dispatched with FCOs and Police officials to go and assist in ensuring that the Vessel sails to Cape Town Port as instructed. The Taiwanese Vessel eventually cooperated and sailed to Cape Town Port.
A thorough inspection will be conducted by all relevant law enforcement stakeholders in Cape Town Port on 09 September 2016 and relevant charges will be laid against the Taiwanese Vessel in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act. The minister has undertaken to intensify the fight against any form of illegal fishing in our exclusive economic zone to ensure that our resources are utilised for the benefit of the country to reduce poverty and ensure food security for all. South African waters remain a sovereign jurisdiction and its marine living resources will be protected by the Department.