The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) have reported that they are making progress with the Small-Scale Fisheries implementation process.

According to the, DAFF conducted road shows in four coastal provinces from 16 to 23 March 2015 to explain the draft regulations to stakeholders and to receive input from them.

Masifundise’s Eastern Cape organiser, Mr Lulamile Ponono, attended two of the road shows in the province. He said: “Fishers do not have clarity on the processes to be followed and there was a need for more discussion on regulations that will govern the SSF policy implementation process.”

“NGOs that were part of the policy formulation process should do follow up visits to empower and educate fishers,” he said.

Masifundise and Coastal Links South Africa are gearing to participate in the implementation process through active engagement and critical evaluation.

DAFF reported on the policy implementation, as follows;

The road show covered four provinces, 27 venues and engaged with approximately 3 000 people.

The Draft Regulations 30 days public comment period was extended and the public were given another 30 days to comment due to requests that the department received from different stakeholders. The deadline is now the 6 of May 2015

On 27 February 2015 the department called for fishing communities to register their expression of interest to be part of the small-scale fisheries implementation process.

“The process is still open and once the Regulations are finalised, I will announce the last call for fishing communities to register their interest,” Minister Senzeni Zokwana had said during a ministerial intervention at the Tsitsikamma Road show.

Once this period has expired the Department will work with those communities that have registered their expression of interest in order to implement the small-scale fisheries policy.

The regulations must be finalised and the MRLA Amendment Act must be promulgated. The target date for the promulgation is June 2015 and once finalised, the minister will launch the official implementation of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy.

Fishing communities will be provided the last chance to register their expression of interest – 30 days from date that notice is published in the Government Gazette.

All registered communities will be visited by DAFF in order to conduct the verification process of fishers and all successfully verified fishers shall be mobilised into small-scale fishery co-operatives by DAFF.

DAFF will assist small-scale fishing co-operatives to apply for a small-scale fishing right and rights will be allocated around March 2016. DAFF will facilitate training and developmental support for the small scale fishing co-operatives (MINISTERIAL INTERVENTION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES POLICYDAFF, 2015).”

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