The fishing rights allocation process has made the news again this week. Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson published the 2013 policy for the allocation of fishing rights for eight fisheries, but according to industry consultant, Shaheen Moolla, the policy contravenes the Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA).
The latest controversy centres around co-operatives. According to the MLRA, co-operatives are not allowed to hold fishing rights. However, the newly gazetted policy has allowed co-operatives to hold fishing quotas in each sector.
Moolla has stated that no new policy or legislation may contradict an act of Parliament and believes that the policy violates the section of the constitution which states that only cabinet can approve policy.
The process has been dogged by controversy and the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) seems to be setting themselves up for a lengthy period of appeals – as they are laying a solid foundation from which unhappy rights holders can litigate.