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Cape Town – As part of a move towards a transformative fishing industry, the Department of Environment, Forests and Fisheries (Deff) has released an amending bill to allocate resources among local commercial and small-scale fishing sectors.
The bill proposes a 50/50 split of the total allowable abalone catch, a 50/50 split of the total allowable effort of line fish and a 75/25 split of the total allowable effort of squid for the local commercial sector and small scale sector respectively.
In the bill signed by Minister of Deff, Barbara Creecy, she said: âThe proposed split will have a positive impact on the lives of artisanal fishermen, improve food security and advance vulnerable groups such as women, young people and people with disabilities.
âSmall-scale fishing communities will also be able to participate in the entire value chain and benefit substantially from their equitable allocations and allocations. “
Fisherman and South African Artisanal Fisheries Collective co-chair Christian Adams said the ministry had not explained exactly how it would help these vulnerable groups.
âWe wanted 100% of the abalone rights. If poachers can export 4,000 tonnes of abalone per year, why not increase the allocation for artisanal fishermen, as this would increase protection of the resource, alleviate poverty and create community food security.
âWe are at the mercy of the department because we are not in the decision-making process. There are a large number of quota holders sitting in their homes. If you don’t get your hands wet, don’t enter our territory, âAdams said.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Institute project manager Sulaiman Appoles said abalone fishing should be at least 80% in favor of artisanal fishermen, given the perilously low levels of the species.
âAbalone is one of the few high-value species in the basket and, like the west coast lobster, could be declared closed, which would imply a meaningless quota allocation.
âLikewise, the hake handline is a non-existent fishery that has been completely depleted thanks to coastal trawling activities for which the snoek is a bycatch.
“A total ban on coastal trawling would allow the natural recovery of stocks, allowing the development of sustainable fishing and strengthening food security and income,” said Appoles.
Angling rights holder Charmaine Daniels said 50% was a significant amount to be taken out of the commercial sector.
âIf 50 percent go small-scale, some of them are not bona fide fishermen, and these quotas will not be used. Why are they cutting off salespeople for those who are not working? “
Daniels suggested that 100% of the linefish allocation should be left to the commercial sector because artisanal fishermen could work on commercial vessels.
The national fishery sector organizer at the Union of Food and Allied Sectors Workers, Zolani Mbanjwa, said the perceived understanding of the transformation held by the previous administration as part of the rights allocation process fishing 2013 and
The 2015/16 fishing rights allocation process was to take fishing rights away from larger companies and allocate fishing rights to politically connected people who add no value and just sell their fishing right.