The creation of jobs in the small-scale fisheries sector means that fishers and fishing communities need to be part of the entire supply chain of the sector.
“Small Scale fisheries may provide substantial job creation and livelihood opportunities if these fishers and communities are involved in and are part of the entire supply chain and related activities” Policy for the Small-Scale Fisheries Sector of South Africa, 2012)
It is not enough to have just fishers going to sea. The sector needs women and youth to take part in pre and post-harvest activities of the fishery.
It might also mean that communities will have to identify job opportunities that come as a result of fishing activities. To add to this, communities will have to be trained and skilled to make them employable.
So, how can the state and organisations like Masifundise help with job creation within the sector?
“When asked about their future aspirations many fishers claimed they wished for access to better permit conditions that allowed them a catch greater than the current limit of 10 per day. Harvesters who once had abalone permits before the ban was implemented claim that being able to harvest legally again would provide them with a reliable income and allow them to work under safe conditions,” writes Michelle Stern of the South Africa Institute of International Affairs.
“Additionally, they wish to sell at fair prices, just below the market value in order to be competitive, with the option to sell in external markets. This, they believe, would provide them with an avenue out of poverty. Additionally, storage facilities to keep fish fresh overnight would allow them to receive better prices for their stock, as they would not be forced to sell on the day-of-catch.
A fish shop could provide fishers the opportunity to sell at a price that is below the market price in a nearby shop, but still at a competitive price that would enable them to receive a reliable income. An enterprise that enables fishers to pool their resources would enable them to share the benefits in the fish trade.”
Other job creation activities that small-scale fisheries can embark on are the education, training and development of communities. With the government’s plan to open up co-operative, communities will have to be trained in management of the co-ops. They will need business skills including, computer and financial management skills.
Other skills including boat repair, first aid and marketing skills could be useful.
A number of departments will have to be involved including the Department of High Education, DTI and Skills Education and Training Authorities. Funding will have to be made available and SSF community members will have to be dedicated. Communities will also have to identify what skills and job related to small-scale fisheries are needed inorder to create a successful SSF community/fishery.