According to government information the relaxation in diving ban comes into effect on Friday and drivers will continue to be allowed to practise their sport off the Cape of Good Hope Reserve (Cape Point). After huge protest by recreational divers against the ban Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said he would allow shore-based diving at Cape Point, but that even this would be subject to limitations.
Van Schalkwyk informed that the ban would be there around Robben, Dyer and Bird islands and from Gansbaai to Quoin Point in an attempt to protect endangered perlemoen stocks. WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership manager Deon Nel said that the organization is happy that the government is trying to find the middle road. Nel added that putting a ban in such a place without having the necessary resources to police it becomes a paper exercise that in some way appease the people without any solid results.
The Cape High Court asked Van Schalkwyk to think twice if it was correct to put ban on the commercial fishing of perlemoen. Van Schalkwyk informed that the ban was put after finding an emergency in the industry, denied by the South African Abalone Industry Association, which contended his department should find effective ways of policing it.