The South African Sardine Run Charter Owners Association (SASRCOA) notes the South African Government’s comment on the formation of the association on 2 July 2019. A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Oceans and Coasts said; “We believe [sardine run] operators have a choice to form and/or belong to an association.”
SASRCOA was formed as an umbrella association of excellence to which ethical Sardine Run Tour Operators ascribe. SASRCOA also provides legal advice and joint marketing to members who agree to abide by a strict constitution regulating their activities.
Legal Representative for SASRCOA, Shaheen Moolla said; “The South African Sardine Run Charter Owners’ Association has noted that the South African government has begun the process of acknowledging that the annual sardine run event – South Africa’s own “greatest shoal on Planet Earth” – does not require permitting from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries based on the Association’s strong legal position which we put to the Department in June 2019. We have maintained that any attempt at regulating the sardine run event, including obligating businesses to apply for “permits” under the Marine Protected and Threatened Species Regulations of 2017 would be unlawful and beyond the scope of the current legal framework.”
The South African Sardine Run Charter Owners’ Association protects the interests of its members and, above-all, act to ensure that their clients experience the sardine run in a safe, responsible and ecologically sustainable manner. Every member of the Association is bound to comply with a strict Code of Conduct which is available for viewing on the SASRCOA website – https://sasrcoa.co.za.
“We look forward to engaging with the South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries further as we continue to forge our common interest, which is to encourage responsible marine eco-tourism,” concluded Moolla.