11 March 2015

Thirty days to comment on fisheries regulations

The Draft Regulations relating to Small-Scale Fishing were gazetted on Friday 6 March for public comment.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has given fishing communities and members of the public 30 days to comment on the regulations.

Masifundise is worried that the 30 days eats into the time when the department is busy with the roll out and that the regulations are complicated that it is possible that many communities will find it hard to understand them.

The 30 day period ends on the 6 of April 2015.

The draft regulations are accompanied by a number of documents, including a final draft of a constitution for the cooperatives, a list of decommercialised and prohibited species and a small-scale expression form.

The small-scale expression form is there for fishing communities to fill in and show their interest and so they can be acknowledged as a fishing community.

“Communities and fishers need to be mobilised and the contents of the regulations need to be workshopped with them,” said Masifundise’s Michelle Joshua.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) will embark on a road show that will unpack the regulations for fishing communities. This week, communities in the South Coast of the Western Cape were informed by officials, that this will take place on Tuesday 17 March in Arniston.

Copy of amended consultation schedule on draft regs _stakeholders

Seychelles: Plan to expand Marine Protected Areas by up to 30%

The Seychelles government is committed to expanding by 20-30% the country’s marine protected area network and fishers say that they were not consulted regarding this process.

The matter was discussed at a week-long workshop earlier this month. The workshop, organised by the Fisher Association of Seychelles is meant to exchange knowledge of how fisherfolk can participate in MPA planning, advocacy and lobbying.

Masifundise’s Nico Waldeck is participating in the gathering.

The government of Seychelles is committed to the protection of the marine and terrestrial biodiversity for which it is responsible and has declared a large number of protected areas (PA). It has made bold new commitments to expand the PA estate, especially for marine areas which will be expanded to cover 20-30% of the EEZ. (Seychelles Nation, 2015)

But fishers do not believe that this is a threat to their livelihood.
“ Fishers in Seychelles read the report on ocean grabbing prepared by Africa Kontakt, Masifundise and Transnational Institute so they requested us to secure participation of one of the authors who is well aware of the dynamics and various forces at play in Seychelles and globally” wrote Yann Yvergniaux, the workshop organiser.

Showing concrete examples on how fishers in South Africa are advocating for increased participation in MPA’s, Nico delivered a presentation on how Coastal Links South Africa was mobilised. His presentation touched on how in South Africa, fishers were and are able to fight for their rights to be part of political processes that will directly affect their livelihoods.

Fishers support marine protection measures but believe that these should take into account the rights of traditional fishers to sustainable livelihoods.

The week long workshop was a platform for fishers to exchange knowledge and share ideas.

This knowledge and ideas will then assist small-scale fishers from the Seychelles in taking forward their political struggle for human rights, food security and inclusion in political decision-making processes.

WFFP: Declaration on the rights of peasants

A long struggle for food sovereignty has culminated in a United Nations declaration protecting the human rights of small-scale fishers.

The World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) urges for better protection of small-scale fishers at the inter-governmental working group of the Human Rights Council on the rights of peasants, fishers and other people working in rural areas.

Full Article on WFFP’s website


Last Week, Masifundise Director Naseegh Jaffer and Magdaline Peter of Kerala attended a forum on Agroecology.

The forum held in Selingue, Mali was to develop a joint strategy to promote agroecology as a key element in the construction of Food Sovereignty and to develop joint strategies to promote Agroecology and defend it from co-option.

The gathering took place from 24 until the 27 of February, 2015 and a declaration was adopted by the forum.

Read it here

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