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The Western Cape High Court has temporarily put a freeze on hake fishing quotas, which Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana says will hurt smaller and black-owned companies the most.

The department reduced the fishing allocation for one of the biggest players in the sector, The Viking Fishing Group, who in turn took the matter to court, explains EWN's Xolani Koyana.

The court then issued an order suspending hake and sole fishing.

Of the 27 total commercial allocations for this year, 12 were granted to newcomers, in an effort to transform the sector.

Koyana reports that the freeze will affect a number of small-scale groups the most and many local fishermen will be left without an income.

It's unclear how long the suspension will last and the court appeal will be heard in February.

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