18 February 2014
Media Release: Coastal Links calls for immediate corrective action on lobster allocation in Arniston and Struisbaai
The Department of fisheries must urgently investigate the flawed allocation of lobster permits in Arniston and Struisbaai and take corrective action.
Coastal Links South Africa, representing over 4 000 small-scale fishers in South Africa, last year negotiated for 20 permits to be allocated in each area due to the scarcity of line fish.
Lists were agreed upon, through discussion, and included bona fide fishers who relied on the ocean for subsistence. At the commencement of the crayfish season in November, new lists appeared out of nowhere that included a number of undeserving beneficiaries.
Some have other forms of income, some come from one family and others have no experience of fishing. A retired police officer, hotel workers and youth who do not make use of their rights, are among the beneficiaries.
The Department of Fisheries has promised to investigate, but nothing has come of it, said John Europa, Coastal Links chairperson in Arniston.
“We need action regarding the crayfish situation, because the season is already a few months old, said fisherman Anthony Engel, also a Coastal Links branch member.
The national chairperson of Coastal Links, Christian Adams has called on the department to rapidly remedy the situation.
He outlined some of the criteria that should be used when allocating rights. The beneficiary should be: A South African citizen from a fishing community; Able to show direct historical involvement in the small-scale fisheries sector (10 years); Able to show past involvement in traditional fishing operations; Able to show historical dependence on marine living resources; Have no other employment.
“Allocations have to be fair and just and benefit those most in need,” said Mr Adams.
He said Coastal Links would embark on protest action if the matter was not resolved in the shortest possible time.
Issued by Coastal Links South Africa: Coastal Links South Africa, a community-based organisation representing more than 4,000 small-scale fishers in all four coastal provinces of South Africa.
Christian Adams (CLSA Chairperson)
Hahn Goliath (MDT Field Worker WC)
Cell: 071 524 0843
Masifundise Development Trust: Communication Unit Contact Details
Contact: Nosipho Singiswa or Mansoor Jaffer
Tel: 021 6854549