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Umdloti ‘no fishing’ ban prevails

KZN’s bid for a court order compelling the eThekwini Municipality to remove boards along certain parts of eMdloti Beach prohibiting fishing has failed.

The online non-profit club for more than 3 000 recreational fishermen had brought an application against the eMdloti Beach Ratepayers and Residents’ Association and the municipality, and had cited the Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs as interested parties.

They had initially sought an interdict against the association, its members and employees, restraining them from threatening and assaulting the club’s members and from damaging their property.

They had also initially wanted an interdict preventing the association from evicting club members from certain beaches and rocky areas in eMdloti.

The only relief they sought during arguments before Durban High Court Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel earlier this month, when judgment was reserved, was an order directing the municipality to remove the boards prohibiting fishing in two areas on eMdloti Beach – First Avenue to the end of South Beach and Lifesavers to the end of the the bathing area.

The judge said no objections were raised on the other areas on the eMdloti Beach where fishing restrictions apply.

Dismissing the application on Thursday, Ploos van Amstel said the club did not pursue the interdicts relating to the harassment of its members because it was not able to identify the wrongdoers as members of the association.

The fishing club had argued that the municipality was unable to demonstrate it had the authority to erect the notice boards. The current regulation applied in the area prohibits fishing or angling from any part of the seashore within the jurisdiction of the (then) Umdloti Town Board which it, by notice on the spot, declared to be an area in which fishing or angling was prohibited.

“The only issue before me was whether or not the Umdloti Town Board had declared the relevant parts of the seashore (First Avenue to the end of South Beach and Lifesavers to the end of the bathing area) to be areas where fishing or angling was prohibited or restricted,” his judgment read.

The minute books of the then Umdloti Beach Town Board and the North Local Council could not be found and the eThekwini Municipality was not able to produce a written resolution on these fishing restrictions.

The judge said there were a number of documents and affidavits submitted which showed by inference that resolutions on these fishing restrictions were adopted by the Town Board and later by the local council.

“It is unfortunate that the minutes books of the then Umdloti Beach Town Board and the North Local Council cannot be found. I fully understand the frustration of (KZN and its members who have been subjected to restrictions on when and where they may fish, without the municipality being able to show them the written resolutions that imposed the restrictions,” read the judgment.

Based on the evidence before him, the judge said he was satisfied that the most probable inference that one could draw was that the Town Board and local council adopted a resolution according to the recommendations made on the fishing restriction.

Original Source: IOL

Source: Ballito News from MyBallito
Full Story: Umdloti ‘no fishing’ ban prevails

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