Public to comment before 3rd May 2016…
On 3rd February the Department of Environmental affairs published for public comment, draft regulations proposing new and extended Marine Protected Areas (MPA).
The public were given 90 days to comment and the due date for public comment is on the 3rd of May 2016.
Masifundise would like to urge its constituencies to submit comments before the due date.
“We have seen how MPAs work and we have witnessed a number of small-scale fishers struggling to sustain their livelihoods because of MPAs”, commented Masifundise’s Lulamile Ponono.
“The case of Dwesa-Cwebe and Langebaan are but just a few cases where we have seen fishers struggling to access marine resources,” Ponono continued.
The gazetting of the expansion of MPAs in SA comes at a time where the community of the Dwesa Cwebe are still fighting for their customary rights to access marine resources in the Dwesa-Cwebe MPA.
Mr Gongqose, a fisher in Dwesa said it will be very unfortunate for the government to declare more MPAs in SA yet there is still no proper consultation with those who have accessed marine resource for all their lives.
“We have always said that fishers and others who depend on the sea for survival are for preserving marine resources,” Gongqose commented. “But if you have the government declaring a vast area of coastline as MPAs to the detriment of those who depend on marine resources, they are not only killing coastal communities’ livelihoods but also showing those who depend on the government where the government priorities lay.”
Masifundise and Coastal Links support the concept of Marine Protection Areas for environmental sustainability but believe they the implementation should not reduce or destroy the rights of small-scale fishers to livelihoods.
Read the gazette here: nempaa57of2003_draftregulations_newproposedmarineprotectedarea1_gg39646