Crew Members in South Africa's Squid Industry; Whether They Have Benefited From Transformation Policy and Governance Reforms Public Deposited

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  • This paper investigates whether policy and governance reforms for transforming the Squid industry, especially those related to redistribution of fishing rights and improved conditions of employment, have impacted positively on the crewmembers. Governance has two key elements; firstly, in the absence of government or lack of capacity to enforce legislation and policy, governance becomes entirely a question of endogenously evolved set of rules. Secondly, institutions are the tools through which governance operates. The paper argues that although crewmembers form the bedrock of the squid industry since they harvest the squid, they have not so far benefited from transformation for a number of reasons; the harvesting technique, based on hand jigging, necessitates incentivising individual crewmember productivity. Therefore crewmembers are remunerated according to an individual's productivity; the fishing industry was exempted from the Basic Conditions Employment Act, as a result vessel owners do not have to fulfil the requirements under the Act; crewmembers only sign contracts for the duration of each fishing trip, and thus do not feel obliged to remain with the same employer resulting in high labour mobility. The individualistic production technique, the lack of legal protection and high mobility means that crew members are not able to organise as a group able to lay claim on benefits that could have arisen from transformation policy. The challenge is how to ensure that crewmembers attain the basic conditions of employment while at the same time retaining the individual productivity incentive structures on which the catching sector of the industry is based.
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  • Hara, Mafaniso. 2008. Crew Members in South Africa's Squid Industry; Whether They Have Benefited From Transformation Policy and Governance Reforms. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 22-25, 2008, Nha Trang, Vietnam: Achieving a Sustainable Future: Managing Aquaculture, Fishing, Trade and Development. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2008.
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