This information sheet is published every Wednesday and distributed via our database, our website and social media. It provides information on the work of Masifundise Development Trust (MDT) and Coastal Links South Africa (CLSA).

 5 June 2014

COFI meets in Rome to finalise International Guidelines on small-scale fisheries

Today, the last session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) will be held in Rome, Italy.

The session is expected to endorse the International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries, and discuss Fish Trade, Aquaculture and how to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing amongst other things.

Masifundise (MDT) Director, Naseegh Jaffer is attending this session as a co-ordinator of the civil society component. Representatives of 35 governments will be in attendance as will delegates from the business and research sectors. The presence of Chandrika Sharma, who was a passenger on the missing Malaysian airline, will be sorely missed. Ms Sharma, along with Naseegh Jaffer,  co-ordinated the civil society component of this initiative.

COFI is a subsidiary body of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council of the United Nations. It was established at the 13th session of FAO in 1965.

The Committee presently constitutes the only global inter-governmental forum where major international fisheries and aquaculture problems and issues are examined and recommendations addressed to governments, regional fishery bodies, NGOs, fish workers and other formations.

COFI has also been used as a forum in which global agreements and non-binding instruments were negotiated [ ]
To see the provisional agenda of this session click here:
To access some of the COFI documents click here:

Port Nolloth Fishers Receive Skipper Boats from DAFF and DTI

Fishers from Port Nolloth received 11 boats from the provincial government yesterday, 5 June 2014, increasing the number of boats in the area from 10 boats to 21 boats. The boats are 8.9 metres long and are able to carry 12 people. This is a Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) (provincial government) initiative that aims to encourage fishers and support economic development in the area.

To date, Port Nolloth has 77 permit right holders and had 10 boats. This caused tension among fishers as this meant that not all fishers were able to go to sea to efficiently sustain their livelihoods.

“Our only challenge now will be the issuing of permits to go to sea. We have 77 permit right holders but have many more fishers in the area, said Mr Dawie Phillips, Coastal Links South Africa (CLSA) Chairperson in the Northern Cape.

The Northern Cape Province currently occupies 300km of South Africa’s 3000km shoreline, with two main fishing towns, Hondeklipbaai and Port Nolloth.

Port Nolloth is a fishing community for the crayfishing industry (or rock lobster), and for small-scale diamond recovery.

Coastal Links South Africa has a presence in both Hondeklipbaai and Port Nolloth.

Preparations for WFFP General Assembly under way

Preparations are well under way for the General Assembly of the World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP) takes place in Cape Town in the first week of September 2014.

It will bring together fisher representatives from 40 countries.

The General Assembly is held every four years and this time the focus will be on issues of Ocean Grabbing/ Privatisation of the Sea and the International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small- Scale Fisheries.

As the representative in the host country, MDT is responsible for the operational side of the conference. Former MDT staff member Michelle Joshua is managing the preparations, getting the logistics in place and liaising with stakeholders in different countries.

While the majority of the member organisations are from Asia and Africa, the WFFP also represents fishers in North and South America, Europe and the south-western Pacific Ocean.

The timing of the 6th WFFP general assembly couldn’t have been better. It is expected that the International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries will be endorsed by the Committee on Fisheries of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in June 2014. As with our South African Small-scale Policy, this means that we have to shift focus from developing policy towards policy implementation.

WFFP is an international organisation that was launched in October 2000 at a conference in France with its office currently located in Karachi, Pakistan. The organisation brings together small-scale fisher organisations for the establishment and upholding of fundamental human rights, social justice and small-scale fishers.

It aims to affirm the sea as a source of all life, commits to sustain fisheries and aquatic resources for present and future generations with an overall objective of strengthening, improving, protecting and defending communities dependent on the ocean for their live hood and quality of life.

WFFP engages in a range of lobbying and advocacy work. It played a critical role in the development of a set of International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries through the FAO Committee on fisheries.


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