Do not lose hope; follow the process through to its conclusion

In August, the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) published the first list of verified fishers in the Northern Cape, which caused a lot of anxiety, disappointment and confusion amongst fishers in the towns of Port Nolloth and Hondeklipbaai.

Fishers in these two towns, with the help of Coastal Links South Africa (CLSA) and Masifundise Development Trust (MDT), immediately lodged appeals against the exclusion of hundreds of fishers from the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy (SSFP).

Fishers had to lodge their appeals individually, many of whom were mainly disqualified on the basis that they did not have accumulated enough years as fishers to be eligible to be considered to be bona fide fishers, and that fishing was not their only source of income.

DAFF intends to release the lists of verified fishers in the Western Cape within the next 10 days, and it is expected that the results will not be different, that many fishers who registered and applied to be verified will not be on the list.

DAFF however has now indicated that the list published in the Northern Cape in August is a provisional list, and that all future lists to be published in the other three provinces will also be provisional lists.

The final lists will be published once all the appeals have been processed by them.

It is therefore important that fishers should not lose hope if they do not see their names on the lists, but that they must make every effort to make sure that they lodge appeals within the prescribed thirty days period as indicated.

All future provisional lists will be made available to fishing communities via public channels like fishing compliance offices, and where there are not any, local libraries and community halls will be used.

Once the lists are published, fishers must go check at the local DAFF or other state offices to see if their names are on the list. Should your name not be on the list, and you are registered for verification, DAFF will have to provide you with a letter stating the reasons why you are not being registered as a small-scale fisher.

With the letter, they must also indicate to you that you can appeal against your exclusion from the SSFP, as well as a list of what documents you need attach to your appeal to prove your status as a bona-fide small-scale fisher.

Fishers, please remember:

  1. Find out where the Provisional List of Verified Fishers will be released in your community.
  2. Check if your name is on the list.
  3. If your name is not on the list, check with the office where the list was displayed if there is a letter for you to indicate why you are not on the provisional list.
  4. If you did not get a letter, check with the nearest DAFF office for your letter.
  5. Once you have received your letter, Appeal against your exclusion from the provisional list.
  6. Gather all the documents that apply to you that are listed in your letter from DAFF.
  7. Lodge your appeal, if you need any help with lodging an appeal, contact your local CLSA branch.


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