Welcome to the Masifundise Development Trust Weekly Update of the year. This information sheet is published every Wednesday and distributed via our database, our website and social media. It provides information on the work of Masifundise and Coastal Links South Africa.
Wednesday 30 July 2014

Another fisher arrested in Kwazulu Natal

Another KwazuluNatal fisherman was arrested last week. The fisher was taken in by KZN Wildlife officials last Thursday afternoon for selling rock lobster along the freeway in Hibberdine.

The arrests of fishers in KZN have been an ongoing issue that is negatively impacting on the lives of the small-scale fishers in the province. KZN fishers had called upon Masifundise and Coastal Links to intervene in this matter, as the arrest of fishers is not the only issue affecting the fishers. Others include the confiscation of fishing material and delays in granting subsistence fishing permits.

“The permits given to fishers in KZN do not fully support their livelihoods let alone allow them to generate enough income for them to support their families,” said Masifundise’s Mandla Gqamlana.

“We have engaged the fishers and collected their fishing documents so that we can begin an advocacy process involving Legal Resources Centre so to assist fishers obtain proper permits”, he said.

Masifundise continues bid to join Line Fish case

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: https://www.masifundise.org/category/small-scale-fishing/


West Coast Women want a stake in fisheries

Masifundise is working with local government in the Matzikama municipal area to look at ways of strengthening the role of women in fisheries.

Last week Hahn Goliath, a Masifundise field worker, met with the Integrated Development Plan Manager of Matzikama municipality. The two discussed the development and role of fisher women of Doring Bay and Ebenhaeser in the implementation of the SSF policy. They looked at ways in which local government could assist in this process.

Over the past weeks, Masifundise has had a number of local area meetings with the women of Doring Bay and Ebenaeser on the West Coast. The meetings were to discuss the SSF Policy and how women in these areas should prepare themselves and take part in the implementation process of the policy.

The results of these meetings were to have three groups of women forums organising meetings and small workshops and disseminating information.

“The women are very clear that they have been excluded from benefiting from the marine resources and that its time to organise themselves to fight for their rights,” commented Goliath.

The women identified role players such as Masifundise and Coastal Links SA, Local Government and all other relevant stakeholders that can contribute to the cause of helping their cause.

Follow up meetings with the women are set for some time this week in the respective towns.

SSF Policy Handbook – a focus on Gender Rights

Each week we focus on an aspect of the small-scale fisheries (SSF) policy. The small-scale fisheries policy strongly favours gender equity.

Women have always played a key role in the pre and post harvest activities and in some areas, women are the primary harvesters on intertidal resources.

This week we focus on gender rights and the inclusion of women in the small-scale fisheries sector, read more on Page 13 of the SSF Handbook



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