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SASACC: Please Stop Bad-Mouthing Forever Resorts Loskop Dam

Following the immense negative reaction on social media to a highly controversial fish management project using underwater spearguns facilitated by a special permit issued by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), SASACC president Mr Andries Maree has urged all anglers “to refrain from bad-mouthing the Loskop Dam Forever Resort or boycott the Resort as a result of the fish management regulations instituted by the Mpumalanga Parks Board”.

His plea was made after a conservation and fish management meeting was held at the Loskop Dam Forever Resort in November attended by role players from the MTPA, EcoCare Trust and SASACC. 

At the meeting Mr Andre Hoffman of MTPA delivered  a presentation of the spearfishing project, while the unlawful netting of fish in the province and the need for a fish population management plan for Loskop Dam was also on the agenda.

According to Mr Maree the angling representatives were quite satisfied with the explanation given by Hoffman, and accepted that the project was necessary to enable the MTPA to assess the population of Black Bass in the dam and to undertake a biological study of the tissue samples harvested.

“In the recent past, there was a social media blow-out because of Black Bass being spearfished at Loskop Dam by MTPA,” he said. “ In this blow-out an innocent party was the Loskop Dam Forever Resort,” he pointed out.

“I want to state it categorically that the Loskop Dam Forever Resort is an accommodation facility rental company and not a Mpumalanga Parks Board entity. The Resort is thus in no way involved in the fish management projects. As the Resort is situated on the banks of the Loskop Dam, the Resort is compelled by law to ensure the adherence to regulations whether it be access to the dam by boats or the adherence to permits as issued by Mpumalanga Parks Board in relation to fish management. I want to urge all the anglers to refrain from bad-mouthing the Loskop Dam Forever Resort or boycott the Resort as a result of the fish management regulations instituted by the Mpumalanga Parks Board.”

The meeting accepted that a fish management plan to protect all 24 indigenous species was required. It was decided that:

  • SASACC will provide suggestions on how the organized angling community can contribute to the management plan in an organised and managed manner.
  • MTPA will finalize the report of the spearfishing project and make it available to the interested parties.
  • MTPA will assist with the establishment of a management plan to prevent the illegal netting of fish within MP.

Early in 2020, the parties will meet again to discuss the inputs to the management plan for approval by the executives of the parties.

Maree states that “it is very clear and imperative that we as South Africans, anglers and conservationists have a responsibility to protect and conserve our resources and the fishes in it. We can not stand on the side and look-on how some of the fish species are becoming a very high risk of being added to the list of animals on the extinction list.

“We as SASACC are looking forward to be actively involved in the newly established relationship with the MP PB and to be involved in the establishment of an ecologically sustainable fish management plan for the Mpumalanga Province. As the establishment process progress, we will keep the public and our members informed and also provide feedback on the management action’s results.”   

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