The National Economic and Development Council (NEDLAC) convened a meeting on Small-Scale Fishing (SSF) Regulations last week Monday, 30 March.

“We called the meeting to allow those who were part of formulating the Small-Scale Fishing Policy to raise their concerns regarding the regulations on Small-Scale Fishing” said Faried Adams, government representative at NEDLAC.

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The meeting held at the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries offices in Cape Town was attended by members of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), organised labour and business. The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), Fish South Africa (Fish SA) and Masifundise Development Trust were among those in attendance.

At the meeting, attendees expressed support for the rapid implementation of the policy and agreed they would submit comments on the draft regulations.

Representative of DAFF mentioned that they have started on the policy roll out and said that once they have received comments and formulated a draft document on these comments they will convene another meeting to give feedback to the group.

The meeting takes its origin from a previous gathering held in NEDLAC mid 2000 where a decision to transform the fishing industry and formulate a policy that will cater for Small-Scale and Artisanal fishers was taken.

The formulation of the policy would look at how the past management fisheries approaches that left traditional fishing communities without fishing rights and forcing them into poverty with no other alternative can be redressed.

The deadline for comments to be submitted was 6 April 2015.

The new policy entails a huge shift in approach with collective rights replace the destructive individual allocations. Small-scale fishers enjoy legal recognition for the first time, in terms of the SSF policy.

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