Coastal fish­ing quo­tas and per­mits do not hold wa­ter for af­fected fish­er­men

CityPress - - Business - – Bloomberg

An ad­vi­sory panel is re­view­ing coastal fish­ing quo­tas that were granted in 2013 af­ter al­le­ga­tions that the process was flawed and in­equitable.

Coastal fish­ing ac­counts for about 10% of South Africa’s R9 bil­lion off­shore fish­ing in­dus­try.

About 2 200 fish­er­men have been op­er­at­ing with in­terim per­mits since fil­ing a law­suit against the al­lo­ca­tions that were made in Fe­bru­ary last year. This would have pre­vented about half of them from work­ing.

The fish­er­men al­lege quo­tas were given to a con­victed gang boss, the cap­tain of a state fish­eries pa­trol ves­sel and peo­ple based far from the coast who had lit­tle, if any, in­volve­ment in the fish­ing in­dus­try.

Fish­er­men who failed to se­cure five-year al­lo­ca­tions have un­til the end of this month to ap­peal, said Sha­heen Moolla, who is part of a three-mem­ber panel re­cently set up by Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries Sen­zeni Zok­wana.

The re­view process will take two to three months and is be­ing mon­i­tored by the Oceana Group, Sea Harvest and Irvin & John­son, the coun­try’s big­gest com­mer­cial fish­ing oper­a­tions. They will com­pete for off­shore fish­ing quo­tas next year and in 2020, said Moolla.

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