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Parliament's Committee on Fisheries saddened by loss of fishermen near St Francis Bay

JULY 18, 2017
Parliament's Committee on Fisheries saddened by loss of fishermen near St Francis Bay

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Monday said that it learned with sorrow the tragedy that hit the chokka fishing vessel, Maredon, which capsized near Cape St Francis early on Sunday morning.

Eight of the crew are still missing, while one crew member was found dead and seven others were rescued alive.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Rosina Semenya, said that “our prayers are with the families of the eight fishermen who are missing and we send our condolences to the family of the one person who was found dead”.

The Committee said that fishing is the mainstay livelihood for many families living along the coast of South Africa and "we are saddened that many families will now be without their breadwinners".

"The Portfolio Committee will await a report from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the untimely incident.

"The Chairperson thanks all authorities involved in the multi-agency search and rescue operation for the missing squid fishers," said Semenya.

"The agencies involved include, but are not limited to, South African Maritime Safety Authority, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, National Sea Rescue Institute, South African Police Service and local agencies.

"The search operation is still underway. We are relieved that at least seven people were rescued."