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FRAPNEVER trends on Twitter
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FRAPNEVER trends on Twitter

FRAP under the spotlight

SOUTH AFRICA: Despite assurances from Minister Barbara Creecy: Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment delivered during her Dept Budget Vote 2021/22 on Friday that the Department intends to stabilise the fishing sub-sectors sectors and that the FRAP 2021 implementation process will realise its ambitions to meet the deadline of allocating fishing rights by 31 December 2021 – many fisheries commentators remain sceptical.

In fact the hashtag FRAPNEVER has been trending on Twitter over the last few weeks. Periculum Consult released a useful timeline on their blog over the weekend that highlights the amount of work that needs to happen over the next few weeks for the Department to remain on schedule.

Vocal critic of the Department, Feike Management also responded to the budget vote over the weekend by emphasising a “plethora of false and unsubstantiated statements”.

“The drafts are built on a template that is entirely irrelevant and inappropriate to the analyses required to produce fishing sector policies. The result is a structure and content of plain gobbledegook unrelated to the social and economic structures of fishing.” He tweeted this weekend.

Highlighting additional discrepancies and shortfalls, Feike Management concludes: “This confirms a #FRAPNEVER. It simply will never start based on this nonsense. If your foundations are premised on such complete crap and myth, then there is little hope of any semblance of coherent policy development.”

Yes Creecy acknowledges the need to stabilise the sector saying on Friday that the ‘allocation of longer term fishing rights is critical to attracting investment into the sector”.

According to her speech, the fisheries sector is worth around R8 billion a year and the commercial sector directly employs approximately 28,000 people with many thousands more people depending on fisheries resources to meet basic needs in the small-scale and recreational sectors. 

“The transformation of the South African fishing industry is a constitutional and legislative imperative. The Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) and the management of commercial fishing rights are an important site for industry transformation. Twelve sectors are due for re-allocation of fishing rights this year,” she noted. 

The Budget Vote made it clear that a significant review process was underway to determine

As part of the FRAP 2020/21 process, the Department will be reviewing the General Policy on the Allocation of Commercial Fishing rights; the 12 sector-specific policies; the Policy on the Transfer of Commercial Fishing Rights, and the Policy on Fish Processing Establishments (FPEs).

“The department will also be reviewing all our fees for applications, licences and permits,” she added.

The much-discussed Socio-Economic Impact Assessments (SEIAS) are due to take into account promoting “profitability, whilst optimising transformation and job creation”.  Creecy indicated that these assessments would be available for comment this month.

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