The small-scale fishing (SSF) communities of South Africa express deep dissatisfaction with the allocation provided to the SSF sector by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE).

The current allocation falls notably short of the commitments made by Minister Barbara Creecy and her predecessor, Minister Zokwana, who pledged 50% of the nearshore traditional line fish allocation to small-scale fishers. Small-scale fishers are integral to coastal communities, providing livelihoods, supporting local economies, ensuring food security, and contributing to the cultural fabric of our nation. Minister Creecy’s pledge to allocate 50% of line fish resources to small-scale fishers represented a positive acknowledgment of their contributions and needs.

Coastal links and Masifundise is launching a petition urging Minister Creecy and DFFE to revise the small line fish allocation to ensure a fair and equitable distribution that reflects the commitments made to fishers over the years. The petition outlined the following demands:

  1. FULFILLMENT OF MINISTER CREECY’S PROMISE: ensure that 50% of the traditional line fish resources are allocated to small-scale fishers, as promised by Minister Barbara Creecy. Small-scale fishers need to receive a fair and sufficient allocation of line fish resources to support their livelihoods and sustain their communities.
  2. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: include small-scale fisher communities in the decision-making process regarding allocations, considering their traditional knowledge, expertise, and experience and provide transparent information about the criteria and process used to determine line fish allocations, allowing for public scrutiny and understanding.
  3. SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS: establish support programs and initiatives to enhance the capacity, skills, and infrastructure of small-scale fisher communities, enabling them to thrive in a competitive industry.

We urge the DFFE to address these concerns promptly and work towards a more inclusive and sustainable approach to line fish allocations.

To support small-scale fishers in their cause please sign the petition here and share widely!


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