Legal Resources Centre attorney Wilmien Wicomb will this week submit papers on behalf of Masifundise in a court case involving the Line Fish Association.

Masifundise has sought to join the case as an interested party, an attempt that is being opposed by the Line Fish Association.

The Association had initially filed court papers to stop the government implementing its long-term fishing rights allocation. Despite the government halting the process, the Association has continued with its litigation.

In April, Masifundise sought to become an intervening party in the Line Fish Association court case with the purpose of preventing a delay in the policy implementation and fishing allocation processes.

LRC attorney Wilmien Wicomb made the application on behalf of MDT and this application was heard on 12 June 2014. The Line fish Association has objected to Masifundise joining the case because it believes that MDT does not represent small-scale fishers or that small-scale fishers exist as a sector.

The Line Fish Association is pursuing a settlement that will involve the re- dispensation of rights to all current and previous right holders. This would then mean that small-scale fishers have less catches, as most rights will be given to those who fish recreationally and commercially.

The Small-Scale fisheries policy gives legal recognition to fishers in this sector for the first time, provides for specific fishing zones for the sector and allows for collective rights rather than the destructive individual quotas of the past.

“MDT and CLSA support any process that leads to a just and equitable allocation of fishing rights. We will oppose any process that will delay the implementation of the small-scale fisheries policy which enjoys wide support and will introduce a new chapter for the sector,” said Masifundise’s Mandla Gqamlana.

“We will also oppose any (court) action that will lead to small-scale fishers being robbed of receiving what is due to them,” he added.


Click here to read MDT and CLSA thoughts on the policy, MLRA, interim relief and the allocation process:

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