SMALL SCALE FISHERS TAKE ACTION
Small scale fishers countrywide are to embark on a national campaign to secure their basic human rights. This includes marching on government offices, picket protests and other co-ordinated action with other sectors of civil society. At the heart of this decision is the poor implementation of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy; how fishing rights have been allocated, particularly in the line fish and net-fish sectors; disagreement over the regulations relating to small scale fishing and the implementation of the policy; and the time frame for line-fishers who were successful in appealing the 2013 line fish allocations and the fact that only 28 rights remains.
Among other demands, the fishers have requested that the Fisheries Minister stop all allocations of commercial west coast rock lobster until the allocations under the small scale fisheries policy are made; and immediately withdraw all line fish allocations and ensure that communal allocations be made in the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape provinces. The fishers are also not happy with the duration (3 years) specified in the Government Gazette Notice #40286 of 16 September 2016 whereas rights for commercial fisheries are allocated for up to 15 years.
Fishers are adamant, that should their demands not be met by 10 October 2016, they would put in place programmes and actions that compel the authorities to take action!