KZN Small scale fisheries launched
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KZN Small scale fisheries launched

Minister wants to see small scale fishers expand into processing and marketing

SOUTH AFRICA, Durban: The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) officially handed over 29 small scale fishing certificates to cooperatives who represent over 2,000 fishers from communities in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) this week.

The cooperatives will have access to 15-year fishing rights under the small scale fisheries sectors and are to be supported through training programmes by DAFF in cooperation with the Provincial Government of KZN.

“We are earnestly rolling out the establishment of the Small Scale Fisheries in all our four (4) coastal provinces. Last year we launched in the Northern Cape province and we are here today in KwaZulu Natal as a second province for Small Scale Fisheries sector,” said Minister Senzeni Zokwana adding that the Eastern and Western Cape provinces would follow shortly.

“As part of radical transformation and diversification of the sector from white dominated established commercial fishing companies harvesting our marine resources, I have made a declaration to allocate small-scale fishing rights from 5 years to 15-year renewable rights allocation only to Small Scale Fisheries Co-operatives. This will allow space for them to grow through trial and error, be mentored and supported through resources,” he announced.

Despite evidence from the formal fishing sector that aims to highlight their strides in terms of transformation, DAFF still sees it as a cause for concern – and hopes to see the small scale sector progressing to undertake processing and marketing of their own catches.

“We must see them owning big vessels and competing at a bigger scale of the market,” he said. “It cannot be left to the whims of those who dominate it for their goodwill and generosity to open up to those who were previously disadvantaged.”

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