Pan African Newsletters a Hit

In October 2013, MDT published Fishers Net – the “Pan African Issue” which focused on issues pertaining to ocean grabbing. The publication was printed in French and English and was distributed to partner organisations and various key player organisations across Africa and Europe. We have had positive feedback from numerous recipients of the newsletter, including NGO workers, government officials, academics, donor agencies and, most importantly, partner organisations.

It has already proven useful in stimulating dialogue amongst partner organisations where stories of “ocean grabbing” (or “lake grabbing” in some instances) are starting to emerge. Many partners have requested as many hard copies as we can send, highlighting in their motivation just how important these issues are in both a national and regional context.

Click on the link to read the Pan African Newsletter:

West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) Season

The WCRL season begins on the 15 of November 2012 and will end in June 2014. 2000 fishers in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will benefit and the allocation is 267 tons per collective permit which amounts to 138 kg per person. DAFF had requested that fishers should send in their vessel list accompanied by a South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) certificate and a crew list by Monday 11 November 2013.

Adoption of the MLRA by Parliament

The adoption of the Marine Living Resources Amendment Bill in the National Assembly on Thursday, 7 November 2013 represents a significant step forward for small-scale fisher’s country wide.

The amended Act moves decisively away from the previous legislation which was exclusively commercial, largely individualistic and destructively competitive for communities, to a framework that promotes collective rights, co-operation, development and human rights.

The legislation is historic in that it provides small-scale fishers with a legal status, for the first time. Importantly, the adoption of the MLRA amendment, will allow for the implementation of the small-scale fisheries policy.

See link for the amended MLRA:

MDT chair’s message after adoption of MLRA

The chairperson of Masifundise Development Trust sent the following message to staff and Coastal Links members after the adoption on the MLRA in the National Assembly.

It is with great pleasure that I extend my appreciation to the staff, Coastal Links South Africa and the leadership at MDT for a job well done. At every turn in your everyday activities, new footprints are laid down, milestones become markers for future generations to come, bringing hope to those who were denied access to their God given livelihood. Thank you comrades, we all have reason to celebrate and close 2013 with a bang.

Supporting Traditional Fishing Communities

The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) has been working with traditional fishing communities for three years to encourage local scientific research, and push for fair access to the sea’s resources. One of the communities they have been working with is Doringbaai in the Cape West Coast.

This traditional fishing community has been managing its own marine resources for decades, and had a need for their knowledge of the sea to be seen as a valuable resource by authorities who are grappling with the challenges of co-managing the country’s fisheries – “The Sea Gives Me Hope” is a short video made specifically for the Doringbaai community, as a way of supporting their work, and to show how coastal villages have a deep connection with the sea.

For this community, fishing rights and sustainability are deeply intertwined: rights, without fish, are meaningless; fish resources, without rights, are as useless to them.

Watch The Sea Give Me Hope here:

Spreading the message

The MDT Communication Unit is working with a team that will produce two videos in the next few weeks. The first video will be about MDT (history, projects and future plans) and the second on the story of CLSA. Various MDT staff and CLSA members are being interviewed for the videos. We will welcome any information or photographs or short video clips that you may have, for inclusion in the videos.

MDT has also started preparing for content for a Handbook on the Small-scale fisheries policy. The handbook will explain the elements of the policy, as a practical guide for small-scale fishing communities. It will be available the first week of December.

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