GOOD calls for Fishing Rights to be allocated to coastal communities 

Media Statement by Shaun August

GOOD Member of Parliament 

GOOD calls for Fishing Rights to be allocated to coastal communities 

10 October 2019

Since 2016, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries have been unable to resolve the long-term fishing rights in this commercial sector.  Small scale fishing is a vitally important industry for coastal communities. For many, it is the primary job creator that can grow the local economy.  If these quotas are scientifically based, it will also ensure that the industry is sustainable and can protect the commercially valuable fish populations and thus the long term economic viability of the industry.

GOOD has been concerned that the Fishing Rights Allocation Process has been very delayed.  The delay in finalising fishing rights has destroyed the long-standing livelihoods of too many small-scale fishers and this must be resolved urgently.

We are alarmed by the apparent "hijacking" of fishing quotas in neighbouring Namibia (https://www.namibian.com.na/83910/read/Namibia-Angola-fish-quota-hijacked) and we are concerned about the protracted the process in South Africa and the impact on our ocean economy and the livelihoods of coastal communities.  

Acting on behalf of various fishing communities, I recently submitted written questions to the Minister asking about the progress her Department has made with regard to the Fishing Rights Allocations (FRAP 2020) and by what date the process will be completed.

I welcome the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy's commitment that the Eastern Cape and KZN provinces will have their fishing rights allocations concluded during September and October, and that allocations in the Western Cape will be concluded at the beginning of the fishing season.

On behalf of GOOD, I appeal to the Department to engage the affected communities effectively and to ensure that fishing rights allocations are managed transparently and responsibly and distributed fairly and taking into account the interests of economic development for traditional fishing communities. This will allow directly dependent communities to work to improve their livelihoods and those of their families. 

Ends. 

Cameron Arendse