Eastern Cape fishers will have a final opportunity to get registered and verified in the coming week, which will qualify them for small-scale fishing rights.

Only fishers who are registered and verified can form part of a community legal entity through which collective rights will be allocated.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on 9 June that members of registered small-scale fishing communities who missed previous sessions have a final opportunity to get registered and verified in the coming ten days.

Registration times are between 9am and 4pm. The venues and dates are as follows;

EC Catch All Centres

Mr Lulamile Ponono, Masifundise’s field worker in the Eastern Cape welcomed the second chance.  “We urge all those fishers who were not able to attend the first verification process to make their ways to the venues provided by DAFF,” he said.

Verification for Eastern Cape Fishers took place from the 4th of April with Mzamba, Orange Groove and Mawotsheni seeing the first visits.

Ayanda Yekani of Hamburg, one of the fishers who registered, and a member of Coastal Links SA (CLSA) had said that the process was smooth and that the service provider explained the process to all present and helped people to fill in forms.

Other dates for legal entity registrations and rights allocations have not been announced. Though the department had said they are pushing to allocate rights for the Northern and Western Cape before the end of the year.

“We are certainly pushing for rights to be allocated around October and November this year for Northern Cape and Western Cape. We are probably going to have to do a staggered approach of the rights allocation as we’ve done in all the other provinces simultaneously,” the department’s Craig Smith said to Eyewitness News, June 6, 2016.

In the Eastern Cape, DAFF have registered 9239 fishers from about 132 communities with an average of 75 fishers per community and now are left with about 11 communities that still have to register within the next week.

For more information on the Small-Scale Fisheries Process follow the facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/DAFF.Small.Scale.Fisheries

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