2010 Annual General Meeting
Once we completed our performance review in the beginning of the year it was rather a quiet year on the Sasmia front.
This process seemed to go rather well despite the fact that some people had difficulty obtaining there questionnaires. We are now eagerly awaiting the outcome of this process.
Thyspunt Nuclear Power Station
At this stage this is probably one of the major threats to our industry. I would like to thank Greg and the Thyspunt Alliance for all their hard work in this regard. Greg has spent a large amount of time attending meetings, arranging and organising data and briefing lawyers.
Squid Data and Closed Seasons
It seems all the hard work started by Greg and Jim four or five years ago and continued by Greg and Myself has bared fruit. When the SWG first wanted to reduce our fishing days we pointed out that the data on which they based their assumptions was incorrect and flawed. Together with the scientists we set about correcting the problem. They did however adopt a precautionary approach and for 2 years an additional 6 weeks of closed season was introduced. Towards the end of last year the data started to show a different picture and as a result in the beginning of this year the additional closed seasons were removed.
This serves to show the importance of accurate data in the management of our resource. It is vitally important that we as an industry continue to provide the scientists with up to date accurate information and I urge you to keep an eye on your returns to ensure accuracy.
I would like to thank the SWG for their proactive way in which they approached this matter and how they co-operated with industry to correct the problems and put a procedure in place to ensure accurate data collection. The ball is now squarely in our court to properly complete our returns and submit them on time as we can now see that this is vital to the proper management of our resource and to ensure that the correct decisions are taken.
Last year a forum was formed to deal with this issue and all sorts of promises and assurances were made that our main area of operation would fall under a different set of rules and security measures. Transnet promptly did an about turn and implemented the full security measures. At this stage it is unclear what is going to happen, but we will keep engaging them in this forum.
To quote last year’s report:
"Unfortunately it seems the only way you can get Government departments to take notice of one’s concerns / complaints and comments is to engage them through the use of lawyers. As a result we can expect an increase in legal fees. This is, in my opinion, money well spent and almost unavoidable." This is especially the case with the Thyspunt issue and we have a rather large bill to settle. I would like to urge all our member to ensure that they are up to date with their subs.
In conclusion I would like to thank the committee for their support and in particular Juanita, Greg, Richard, Tony and Jim. SASMIA at present enjoys the support of a vast majority (95%) of the industry. It is only with this kind of support that we can retain our credibility with the Department and other bodies, thereby promoting the best interests of the industry.