DAFF completed a public participation process to verify the Small- Scale Fishers (SSF) for the 2011 fishing season which starts on 15 November 2011. They visited 33 coastal communities along the Western Cape and Northern Cape coastlines during the period 8 – 16 August 2011 and are currently finalizing their findings.
Successfully verified fishers will receive Interim Relief (IR) permits which will allow them to harvest West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) and certain line fish during the period 15 November 2011- 15 April 2012. DAFF has confirmed that two hundred and fifty (250) tons of WCRL is available for this measure. Exemption conditions and the size of the package per fisher is still to be finalized with the Interim Relief Committee.
While is seems as if all systems will be ready come the 15 November, fishers still anxiously await the finalization of the SSF policy as this will bring a more substantive relief to them and their entire communities. Whilst this sixth (6th) IR measure is welcomed, they ask that the process of finalizing the policy receives urgent attention.