Weekly Press Review – 24 October 2016

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, was quoted in the press this week saying that an increase in the southern bluefin tuna allocation in South Africa is essential for job creation, and will provide permanent employment in the sector.

The Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) has decided to increase the country’s allocation from 150 tons to 423 tons. Minister Sokwana has hailed the decision saying that it would inject much needed export revenue for South Africa.

“It is estimated that the 450 ton increase could be worth R270 million. Depending on the foreign exchange rate, it could create about 1,000 jobs for the unemployed,” said Minister Zokwana.

Small-scale fishers should be able to reap the benefit of the new fishing rights to be allocated by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) scheduled for the end of October.

According to the press the fishing industry, which is dominated by the big players, will now also benefit communities living on South Africa’s coastlines.

Minister Zokwana said that the department wanted to bring in more black people living on the coastline by allocating the new fishing rights to them.

According to deputy director-general for Fisheries Siphokazi Ndudane, the department would allocate rights to 10 sectors, which include abalone, lobster, tuna, horse mackerel, hake-in-shore and the Kwazulu-Natal seine fishing.

“It is important because there was a lot of injustice that was done in the past,” said Ndudane.

However, the press has also reported this week that disgruntled small-scale fishers have slated DAFF saying that its verification process is flawed.

According to the Masifundise Development Trust (MDT), most fishers who meet DAFF’s criteria have been excluded from the provisional list.

“The verification process was flawed. DAFF must be sensitive to the plight of small-scale fishers. They did everything required of them, but still they’re excluded. We will definitely appeal,” says MDT director, Naseegh Jaffer.

Weekly Press Review – 21 August 2015

This week’s marine-related press reports focused on the make-up of the Fisheries Minster’s advisory panel which consists of Julian Smith, Mamakhe Mdhluli and Shaheen Moolla.

 

Lya Louw, founder of the Meermin Visserye CC in Lamberts Bay has voiced her concern about Moolla, of Feike Natural Resource Management Advisers, being on the Ministerial Appeals Advisory Panel which deals with appeals arising out of the 2013 Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP).

She feels that Moolla will not be able to remain unbiased as his family has interests in the fishing industry.  In 2012 Moolla was associated with the fishing company Meermin who approached him for assistance in the management of a 15-year fishing quota.  Moolla was Meermin’s legal representative for the sale agreement and Louw feels that the fact that Moolla’s wife was one of the respondents represents a clear conflict of interest.

Moolla has responded by saying that in the Meermin transaction, he merely served as a legal adviser and prepared the agreements and related documents.

“There is nothing that prevents my family from investing in the fishing industry as it is a sector we understand and know,” said Moolla.

Steve Galane, spokesman for Minister Senzeni Zokwana, said that Moolla had been appointed because of his knowledge  and experience in the fishing sector.

Galane added, “The Minister is happy with the work of the Appeals Advisory Team that has started working on the appeals.  Minister Zokwana would like to see this process coming to finalisation.”

 

 

Weekly Press Review – 20 March 2015

Forensic report findings reported in the press this week have described the policy regarding small scale fisheries as ambiguous and contradicting the National Development Plan.

These findings were revealed by a forensic report carried out by Emang Basadi Legal and Forensic Services and commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to review the work of the fisheries branch.

The report stated:  “Allegations of departmental interference are common and in some cases likely to be true.  Currently it is perceived that only some individuals are benefitting.”

More damning evidence against a process that has been fraught with problems from day one.

Meanwhile, also featured in the press this week are the discussions taking place between the ministers of fisheries, environment and transport to establish a single and co-ordinated structure to manage the fisheries research and patrol vessels.

DAFF minister, Senzeni Zokwana said, “In some instances we have been found wanting in the processes.  We will look at a possible well co-ordinated process by which all three departments can have one structure that manages them.”

The press has also assisted in promoting the South African Navy Festival taking place in Simon’s Town this weekend.  With 12 national and international navy vessels to be seen, as well as dog shows and live music, there is guarantee to be something for everyone.

“The reason we hold this festival is to present our work and ships to the public,” said Lieutenant Leverne Benjamin.