DFFE concludes public consultation roadshow
Draft policies available for public comment
SOUTH AFRICA: The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) concluded their week-long public consultation roadshow following the release of the draft policies on commercial fishing mid-October. Written comments are still being accepted until Monday, 25 October 2021.
According to the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) timetable presented by the Department over the last week; policy amendments should be completed by the end of this month to allow for applications to open during November 2021.
Evaluation will take place during November and December; allowing rights to be allocated by year end. The Department has set aside January 2022 to deal with appeals. The policy document allows for a portion of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) or Total Allowable Effort (TAE) to be reserved for the appeals process.
The unallocated portion of the TAC or TAE that has been set aside for appeals, will be allocated proportionally to all successful applicants and appellants. The allocations of successful applicants may be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on the outcome of the appeals process.
Applications will fall into three categories:
- CATEGORY A: Applicants who are reapplying for rights in a fishery that they have held rights in before.
- CATEGORY B: Applicants who held rights in sectors other than the fishery that they are applying for.
- CATEGORY C: Applicants that have never held commercial fishing rights in any of the commercial fishery sectors and are considered to be “new entrants”.
Despite the roadshow, the Twitter trend under #FRAPNEVER continues with far-reaching comments that include calling out the Department for application forms that are “an embarrassing mess”. In addition appeals still hang over the Department’s head from previous rights allocations specifically in the horse mackerel fishery.
The constantly shifting deadlines have also been called into question more than once. It will be interesting to see if the Department can remain on the tight schedule that looms ahead of them for the remainder of the year.
With public comments officially closing on Monday and a deadline to amend policies in response to submissions by the end of the month – the first litmus test of their commitment to adhere to this schedule will be undertaken soon.