Fisher representatives from 40 countries to meet in Cape Town

Preparations for the 6th General Assembly of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples, which will be held in Cape Town, are progressing well.

Some 150 delegates from 40 countries will gather from 1 to 5 September 2014 to focus on a range of critical issues related to small-scale fisheries.

The conference will focus on Ocean Grabbing, which is about the privatisation of the oceans by corporate interests and the International Guidelines on small-scale fishing, which was adopted in Rome earlier this month.

The plans for WFFP (World Forum of Fisher Peoples), 6thGeneral Assembly are progressing, invitations have gone out to all member countries, and the responses have been positive. Members of WFFP are expected to arrive in Cape Town on Sunday 31st August in time for the start of the conference on 1st September. The conference will be held at the Fountains Hotel, situated in the heart of the city of Cape Town.

The 6 day programme will kick off with a grand opening ceremony, a keynote address, some cultural items and reports from relevant WFFP officials.

This will be followed by three days of discussions around issues pertaining to ‘Ocean Grabbing’ and how we apply tenure guidelines in this struggle to protect the sea and its resources, as well at a detailed discussion on the latest FAO endorsed International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries.

Said organiser Michelle Joshua:

“The programme is designed to allow for much participation and we look forward to learning from our collective experiences and securing solutions that will benefit us all”.

“During the programme, we will also take time to remember those who have given their lives to this struggle. A special tribute will be made in honour of Thomas Kocherry- founder member of the WFFP who passed on earlier this year. We will honour him for his dedication and commitment to the struggle and his hard work in the forum. “

“Likewise we will honour and remember the work of Chandrika Sharma. We will reflect on her dedication, contributions and passion for this sector, and we will especially remember her family and colleagues during this time of great uncertainty,” said Joshua. Sharma was aboard the Malaysian flight that went missing on March 8 this year. She has been active in small-scale fisheries struggles for many years.

The programme will also make provision for a full day fieldtrip to a coastal town as well as a half day trip around the city. All formal decisions will be tied down at the official session of the General Assembly as stipulated in Article 11 of their constitution. Hereafter, members will be asked to recommit themselves to the work of WFFP and the proceedings will be concluded by a festive closing ceremony.

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