Small-scale Fisheries in South Africa: The Uneven Road from Recognition to Governance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/conference_proceedings_or_journals/xp68kh18h

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  • Small-scale fishing communities in South Africa were recognised for the first time in 1998, when the Marine Living Resources Act, aimed at redressing apartheid era inequalities, was enacted. Government's primary intervention has been to issue annual individual permits, wherein Government defined the technical parameters for the fishers to operate as subsistence or as small-scale commercial fishers, dependent on the resources they harvested. These top-down driven regulations were initially accepted by the un-empowered fishers who hoped for some financial gain from possessing a legal fishing licence. Gradually, however, resistance to the categorisation of fishers into different sectors has grown among fishing communities and associated non-governmental organisations. Fishers argue that the rights allocation criteria have excluded many from their traditional activities, and that they typically employ a range of livelihood strategies, depending on resource availability and market opportunities. Evidence is given, based on research in several coastal communities, of this apparent polarisation effect between fishing practices and regulations. Fisher protests and a court challenge forced Government to redraft its small scale fishing policies in a consultative manner, the challenge being to find the balance between an economically driven, commercial rights model and an appropriate poverty reduction strategy. Whether a long-term, people centred, developmental approach will emerge remains to be seen, but it is certain that the fishers will no longer be satisfied with anything less than a more collaborative management approach and meaningful local governance over their livelihoods, derived from the harvest of a basket of nearshore marine resources.
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  • Raemaekers, Serge, Peter Britz and Gurutze Calvo-Ugarteburu. 2008. Small-scale Fisheries in South Africa: The Uneven Road from Recognition to Governance. 24 pages. 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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