Mobilisation and organisation of fishing communities has been our key focus area for the past ten years. We have continuously developed and refined our methods and strategies for capacity building, and we consider this as our key expertise and competitive advantage. We apply the concept of empowerment in our work – this is the concept whereby people from fishing communities presently excluded from the political and economic processes become deliberately included in decision making processes. Through empowering processes, people join in determining how information is shared, goals and policies are set, and management systems are shaped. In this way, people can induce significant social reform, which enables them to share in the benefits of the marine resources.
Our skills and expertise in this field are based on our work in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces. Our fieldworkers have engaged with member from fishing communities on a daily basis for ten years, and as an organisation we have build solid expertise on how to approach community members with honesty and openness. This has enabled us to build strong and close relationships with fishing communities, which is a key precondition for organisation and community building.
In 2008, we initiated a Youth Programme as a sub-division, with the objective of empowering the young community members to participate in key developmental issues and to become active members of Coastal Links.