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Issue No:63
  • :0973-1121
  • :November
  • :2012

The Sea Hold

The sea is large.
The sea hold on a leg of land in the Chesapeake hugs an early sunset
and a last morning star over the oyster beds and the late clam boats
of lonely men.
Five white houses on a half-mile strip of land … five white dice
rolled from a tube.

Not so long ago … the sea was large…
And today the sea has lost nothing … it keeps all.

I am a loon about the sea.
I make so many sea songs, I cry so many sea cries, I forget so many
sea songs and sea cries.

I am a loon about the sea.
So are five men I had a fish fry with once in a tar-paper shack
trembling in a sand storm.

The sea knows more about them than they know themselves.
They know only how the sea hugs and will not let go.

The sea is large.
The sea must know more than any of us.

­­—Carl Sandburg

South Africa / Fishers’ Rights

Improvident Law

Legal improvidence has led to fishers in South Africa being denied access to the waters of protected areas


This article is by Janani R Ganesan (janani.r.ganesan@gmail.com), a freelance journalist based in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India


I am called a pirate.” This declaration came from Donovan van der Heyden, a fisherman from South Africa, who was addressing audiences in Hyderabad during the 11th session of the Conference of Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2012.

‘Pirate’ is the misnomer employed by the South African authorities to refer to someone who ‘steals’ marine resources, van der Heyden explained. But the law that declares his activities illegal—the Marine Living Resources Act governing the country’s marine protected areas (MPAs)—does not coerce him into abiding by it blindly.

A revised act was mandated in 2000. But the amendment to the original legislation, which was construed during the apartheid regime, did little to change the law’s discriminating characteristic, claims van der Heyden.

The declaration of van der Heyden’s home region of Hout Bay as an MPA was soon followed by the entry of private companies into the no-take zone and permission for...

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