Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries holds small scale fisheries cooperatives workshops

The small-scale fisheries sector hits a huge milestone

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (the department) has hit a huge milestone in the implementation process of its Small Scale Fisheries sector by commencing a series of training programmes with small scale fisheries cooperatives. The workshops is commencing in two fishing communities Hondekilp Baai and Port Nolloth, Northern Cape this week and will be rolled out in other provinces soon.

This sector is aimed at redressing the inequality suffered by coastal fishing communities which as a result of unintended consequences have remained marginalised through previous rights allocation systems. Furthermore the establishment of the small-scale sector also seeks to empower small-scale fishers to contribute meaningfully to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country and to play a meaningful role in food security and job creation. This process is informed by the Marine Living Resources Act (The Act) and the Regulations thereof which was amended to legally recognise small-scale fishers who have been living in coastal communities and depending on fishing and its related activities as a source of livelihood.

Since March 2016, the department began in earnest a process to register, verify and recognise small-scale fishers and fishing communities, of which a total of 289 fishing communities were visited in the four coastal provinces to register small-scale fishers as per the regulations relating to small-scale fishing. From these visits, an overwhelming total of 22 580 individuals responded to be recognised as small-scale fishers. A well-detailed socio-economic baseline report of each and every community visited has been generated to better understand this new sector.

More than 120 small scale fishers have been registered in two fishing communities in the Northern Cape.

Following the completion of the cooperative training programme the official registration of the cooperatives will be finalised after which rights will be allocated.

The training programme includes understanding what a cooperative model is, how to run and manage cooperatives successfully how to register cooperatives among others.

All media is invited to be part of a media briefing on Thursday, 8 February 2018 at 09h30 at the Port Nolloth Town Hall.

Source: Government of South Africa