Neels Blom Writer at large

SA’s trout industry is challenging environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa in court over her plan to declare trout an alien and invasive species — an action that may scupper a billion-rand industry — despite an undertaking not to, it claims her department has made. The minister is proposing to amend the Alien and Invasive Species Lists under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act to include species of trout. The Federation of Southern African Flyfishers (Fosaf) says if the minister succeeds, trout farming and the stocking of SA’s waters with trout will become a criminal offence, unless those involved have a valid permit. Guy Preston, the deputy director-general, said on Thursday the department of environmental affairs would oppose the application. He dismissed the notion that the listing would destroy the trout value chain as "alarmist". The best protection for trout would be by listing it. "The point is to prevent the further invasion of trout into areas where t...

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