On 10 June 2021 Masifundise, small-scale fishers from Hamburg as well as other interested and affected parties attended a stakeholder engagement hosted by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA).
This engagement was a result of small-scale fishers from Hamburg highlighting the lack of consultation and public participation processes leading up to the establishment of the Amathole Marine Protected Area (MPA) as well as its management plan.
ECPTA failed to reach many fishing communities and cooperatives through their consultative processes that took place in March. Benton on Sea, Hamburg and Wesley were amongst the small-scale fishing communities that were excluded in the public participation process. Masifundise was therefore approached by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) to assist in identifying relevant affected communities. It became clear that small-scale fishing communities were not meaningfully consulted nor did they actively participate in these processes. The consultations predominantly included commercial and recreational fishing as well as the tourism sector.
This stakeholder engagement resolved to establish an Advisory Forum that would form part of a co-management structure inclusive of small-scale fishing communities impacted by the Amathole MPA.