Smallscale Fisheries Policy implementation; Fishing Rights Allocation Process 2020: DAFF progress report

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

07 November 2017
Chairperson: Ms M Semenya (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries briefed the Portfolio Committee on the Small-Scale Fisheries policy, preparations for the allocation of the 2020 commercial fishing rights, and progress in resolving the grievances of the fishing communities.

The Department indicated the primary aim of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy is to provide redress and recognition of the rights of traditional fishers. The Policy went through an extensive process of consultation with all relevant stakeholders under the oversight of the National Economic Development and Labour Council. Some key principles of the Policy include community-oriented management, co-management of resources, and an allocation of the basket of species.

Regarding progress on the implementation process, 2016 saw, amongst other things, the Amended Marine Living Resources Act promulgated in March, Small Scale Fisheries regulations approved in March, expression of interest closed in April, registration conducted in Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal between March and August, and verification and assessments conducted between March and August in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

During 2017, the appeals process for Northern Cape was concluded and recommendations have been forwarded to the Minister, the provisional lists for KwaZulu-Natal were announced in May 2017, a proposed fee structure for the small-scale fisheries sector was consulted upon in June 2017, the socio-economic baseline for the four coastal provinces was finalised in 17 July, and the appeals process for KwaZulu-Natal were conducted between May and August 2017.

The Department also presented the Committee with feedback on progress in resolving fishing community grievances. It reminded the Committee that on 25 November 2016 the community fishers presented a list of grievances to the Committee relating to the implementation of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy. The Department listened and considered the grievances and provided a response to the Committee on January 2017. However, it did not agree to respond to all grievances because some were not applicable for a response.

Most of the grievances the Department responded to entailed, amongst others, the duration of the fishing rights, insufficient focus on youth and vulnerable groups, lack of intra-governmental support, lack of marine resources available for small-scale fishers, depleted marine resources, fisher security, and poor communication.

Finally, the Department took the Committee through its preparations for the allocation of the 2020 commercial fishing rights. It enlightened the Committee that during the 2005/2006 period, long-term commercial fishing rights were allocated in terms of Section 18 of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act. No 18 of 1998) in 22 commercial fisheries sectors for periods ranging from 8, 10 and 15 years.

Concerning preparations for Fishing Rights Allocation Process 2020, the Department indicated it has established the Consultative Advisory Forum and Fisheries Transformation Council. The Minister would soon, in terms of section of Sections 5 and 29 of the Marine Living Resources Act, establish these 2 bodies. The call for nominations for the Fisheries Transformation Council has already been gazetted. The Department will also undertake an Internal Review Process. During November and December 2017, the Department is going to analyse the lessons learned from Fishing Rights Allocation Process 2015 (successes, weaknesses, gaps, and areas for improvement); and would embark on public consultations on the draft policies, application forms and proposed fees during the first quarter of the 2018/2019 financial year.

Members, concerning the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy and progress in resolving grievances from fishing communities, wanted to know if the Department had an entrepreneurial youth programme that is developed because not all young people are academic oriented; asked about the kind of support given to registered cooperatives and its duration; wanted to establish the constitutionality of the rights re-allocated to small-scale fisheries; wanted to know the frequency of the fishing rights reviews; asked if it is possible to have something called Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme Fisheries; wanted to know if the Department embarked on roadshows regarding the fishing rights allocations to get communities and interested parties to submit applications so as to empower them; and wanted to establish why the assessment of appeals is not done at the same time in all provinces, and asked what the trends are in these appeals.

On the Fishing Rights Allocation Process 2020, Members asked if the Department had a strategic plan to ensure the re-growth of tuna and anchovy; wanted to know of the 95 applicants that had fishing rights in 2013 how many were new entrants and existing right holders; wanted to find out if it is not better to extend the rights in the linefish by 15 years because 8 years is too short; wanted to know when the results of the analysis of lessons from the Fishing Rights Allocation Process 2015 would be made available and what the basis is for the Internal Review Process; and wanted to find out if the Department had a programme to take those who had allocations through the process to ensure these individuals are going to use these rights and to make certain everyone is on the same wavelength.

Meeting report

Small-Scale Fisheries Presentation
Mr Asanda Njobeni, Director: Sustainable Aquaculture Management, DAFF, briefed the Committee about the journey of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy (SSFP) from policy to implementation. The SSFP was developed as a response to an Equality Court order in 2007. The primary aim of the SSFP is to provide redress and recognition of the rights of traditional fishers. The SSFP went through an extensive process of consultation with all relevant stakeholders under the oversight of the National Economic Development and Labour council (NEDLAC). Some key principles of the SSFP include community-oriented management, co-management of resources, and an allocation of the basket of species. The SSFP was adopted in 2012 and set guidelines for formally establishing a Small-Scale Fisheries sector.

The SSFP Implementation Plan was finalised in 2013 with a total budget of R424 million. The MLRA had to be amended to accommodate the small-scale fishing sector. The Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA) Amendment Bill was signed into law by the President in May 2014. The SSFP Regulations were approved by the Minister, and the President promulgated the Amended MLRA in March 2016 and this allowed the Department to proceed with the SSFP implementation process.The Small-Scale Fisheries Sector has, amongst others, the following objectives:

  • To create a sustainable, equitable, small-scale fishing sector
  • To maintain the health of marine ecosystems
  • To secure the well-being and livelihood of small-scale fishing communities
  • Communities and government to co-manage near-shore marine living resources
  • To give due regard to promoting interests of women, disabled, and child-headed households

With regard to progress on the implementation process, 2016 saw, amongst other things, the Amended MLRA promulgated in March, SSF regulations approved in March, expression of interest closing in April, registration conducted in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal between March and August, and verification and assessments conducted between March and August in Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

The registration and verification process happened in four coastal provinces over five months in 316 communities. 55 DAFF officials and 60 service providers' staff participated. 22 601 people registered.

During 2017, the appeals process for Northern Cape was concluded and recommendations have been forwarded to the Minister, the provisional lists for KwaZulu-Natal were announced in May 2017, a proposed fee structure for the small-scale fisheries sector was consulted upon in June 2017, the socio-economic baseline for the 4 coastal provinces was finalised in 17 July 2017, and the appeals process for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) were conducted between May and August 2017.

Progress in resolving fishing community grievances Presentation
Ms Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy Director-General for Fisheries: DAFF, presented to the Committee feedback on progress in resolving fishing community grievances. She reminded the Committee that on 25 November 2016 the community fishers presented a list of grievances to the Committee relating to the implementation of the SSFP. The Department listened and considered the grievances and provided a response to the Committee on January 2017. However, it did not agree to respond to all grievances because some were not applicable for responses. For those that were applicable, the government's response is as follows:

Three year duration of fishing right too short
The Department accepts a 15-year duration of small-scale fishing rights, but it was not able to formally retract the gazetted decision of a three year right.

Not sufficient focus on youth
DAFF is going to provide bursaries for youth in fishing communities in 2018 for marine related studies. Increasing engagement with partners to facilitate youth development programmes has been earmarked as an intervention when small-scale fishing rights are allocated. No rights have yet been allocated in the small-scale fishing sector.

Not sufficient focus on vulnerable groups
The constitution of small-scale fishing cooperatives has been amended to include social responsibility for vulnerable groups. This would be put into effect once cooperatives are registered and small-scale fishing rights are allocated.

Lack of intra-governmental support
The SSFM directorate is severely understaffed and does not have enough staff to establish the small-scale fishing sector. Further concerted engagements with partners like the departments of Trade and Industry and Social Development would only be possible after small-scale fishing rights have been allocated. The establishment of an intra-governmental forum was committed to as an intervention, but was only earmarked after small-scale fishing rights have been allocated.

MPAs disadavantage small-scale fishing communities
DAFF continues to give input in the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) process of establishing new MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) and raises concern regarding impacts on poor coastal fishing communities.

Lack of marine resources available for small-scale fishers
In attempting to address this grievance, the Department has set aside 50% of the near-shore west coast rock lobster allocation for the small-scale fishing sector. In addition, 20% of the offshore west coast rock lobster has been set aside for the small-scale fishing sector. In context of an unchanged Total Allowable Catch this translates to almost a 300% increase in quota compared to what is currently given to interim relief fishers. Section 21 Policy is still to be amended to provide mechanism of transfer of rights from commercial to small-scale fisheries. The Department still needs to complete the Section 28 process to revoke rights from near-shore right holders that are not exercising their rights. DAFF is to reduce the Total Applied Effort in commercial sectors to accommodate the small-scale fishing sector.

Concerns that fishers do not appear on the provisional list
Unsuccessful applicants were encouraged to lodge an appeal according to a simple appeals process. The appeal form was simplified and provided in four languages. DAFF officials were also stationed in communities to assist with the lodging of the appeals. The periods for the appeals have closed for all provinces and the Department has already assessed all the appeals and provided quality control checks on them. DAFF is now in the process of announcing the final list of successful fishers. Unsuccessful applicants that provided appeals and good information also stand a chance to be considered because the Minister could overturn the previous decision.

Appointment of Amagagasoshintsho
The termination of Amagagasoshintsho contract is still under consideration.

Depleted marine resources
The Department is well aware of the compromised status of many marine resources. These resources are not sufficient to sustain co-operatives according to normal fishing practices. The Department plans to intervene after the rights have been allocated to encourage co-operatives to be involved in the entire value chain to obtain greater value for product. The Department also plans to improve the market access for co-operatives with the facilitation of marketing partners and introduction of Abalobi.

Fisher security
The Department plans to improve fisher security by facilitating partnership programmes, but this could only be done once small-scale fishing rights have been allocated.
 
Eastern Cape Abalone
The Department committed to revive the experimental fishery for Eastern Cape abalone only once small-scale fishing rights have been allocated.
 
Communication
A Stakeholder Engagement Plan was committed to by April 2017 in addition to the establishment of a fisheries dissemination forum. A Stakeholder Engagement Plan and establishment of a fisheries dissemination forum are still to be adopted.
 
FRAP 2020 Presentation
Ms Sue Middleton, Chief Director for Fisheries Operation Support: DAFF, took the Committee through the preparations for the allocation of the 2020 commercial fishing rights. She reminded the Committee that during the 2005/2006 period, long-term commercial fishing rights were allocated in terms of Section 18 of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act. No 18 of 1998) (MLRA) in 22 commercial fisheries sectors for periods ranging from 8, 10 and 15 years. Of these:

Rights expired in 8 of these fishing sectors on 31 December 2013 (8-year allocations)
Rights expired in 10 sectors at various times during 2015 (10 year allocations)
Rights would expire in 4 sectors on or before the 31 December 2020 (15-year allocations)

Regarding FRAP 2013, on 30 December 2013 the Department allocated long-term commercial fishing rights in all eight fishing sectors in which rights expired on 31 December 2013. These fishing rights were allocated for a period of 8 years and would therefore expire on or before the 31 December 2020.

On FRAP 2015, the Department has finalised the allocation of fishing right in 9 out of the 10 commercial sectors where rights expired at various times during 2015 (excluding abalone which has not been finalised).  These rights were allocated for a period of 15 years and would therefore not form part of the 2020 allocation process.

On 31 July 2009, the Department gazetted the Transfer Policy through the Government Gazette Notice No.: 32449. The Transfer Policy only applied to the transfer of commercial fishing rights, excluding subsistence fishing rights (small-scale), fish processing establishments, mariculture (marine aquaculture) rights or other non-consumptive rights or permits.

During the course of 2016, the Department has also begun to allocate rights to operate Fish Processing Establishments, both land and sea-based (previously these operated under exemption).  Potential applicants can apply to operate a Fishing Processing Establishment (FPE) facility at any time, and successful applicants are allocated rights for a 15-year period, commencing on the date of approval.

The following 12 sectors are due for allocation in terms of Section 18 of the MLRA in 2020:

FRAP 2013

  1. KZN Prawn Trawl
  2. Demersal Shark
  3. Tuna-Pole Line
  4. Hake Handline
  5. Line Fish
  6. White Mussels
  7. Oysters
  8. Squid

FRAP 2020

  1. Small Pelagics (Pilchard and Anchovy)
  2. Hake Deepsea Trawl
  3. Hake Longline
  4. South Coast Rock Lobster

Pertaining to preparations for FRAP 2020, DAFF has established the Consultative Advisory Forum (CAF) and Fisheries Transformation Council (FTC). The Minister would soon, in terms of section of Sections 5 and 29 of the MLRA, establish these 2 bodies. The call for nominations for the FTC has already been gazetted.

The Department is going to undertake an Internal Review Process. During November and December 2017, the Department is going to analyse the lessons learned from the FRAP 2015 process (successes, weaknesses, gaps, and areas for improvement).

During the last quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year (1 January – 31 March 2018), the Department is going to review the current General Policy, the 12 Sector Specific Policies and Application Forms as well as the Transfer Policy; and it plans to finalise the FRAP 2020 Roadmap by the middle of January 2018.

Public consultations on the draft policies, application forms and proposed fees are anticipated to commence during the first quarter of the 2018/2019 financial year and to be finalised during the second quarter of the 2018/2019 financial year. Finally, the Department is currently embarking on a process to recruit temporary staff for FRAP to build capacity because the contracts for the current staff expire end of November 2017.

Discussion
Small-Scale Fisheries Policy and DAFF’s Progress in Resolving Grievances

Mr W Maphanga (ANC) wanted to know if DAFF had an entrepreneurial youth programme because not all young people are academic oriented. He also asked about the kind of support that is given to registered cooperatives and its duration.

Mr R Ramasodi, Acting Director-General: DAFF, stated the idea of a youth entrepreneurial programme is something DAFF needs to explore. He, however, said there are interventions on training the young across agriculture and fisheries. DAFF spends R23m every year on these training programmes and there is a new one that has been signed recently with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Ms Ndudane, on support given to cooperatives, reported Fisheries does not have enough budget. The division had an objective of assisting for 5 years, but that has proven to be difficult to achieve. There are over 300 fishing communities with over 30 000 fishermen. The bulk of the fishermen being helped in cooperatives have never run businesses before. They are being work-shopped on finance and marketing related matters. DAFF is not in a position to do this on its own because it has limited capacity. It is looking at getting help from other state departments and to appoint service providers to help in supporting the cooperatives.

Mr M Filtane (UDM) wanted to know what the socio-economic baseline reveals and the composition of the cooperatives. He also wanted to establish the constitutionality of the rights re-allocated to small-scale fisheries. He further wanted to know the frequency of the fishing rights reviews; and asked if it were possible to have something called CASP Fisheries.

Mr Ramasodi said the Department had information on the socio-economic baseline and composition of the cooperatives and would forwarded it to the Committee because it was not part of the brief for the presentation.

Ms Ndudane replied that the constitutionality of re-allocating fishing rights has been tried and tested in the court of law. The Department has won a case on this matter. On CASP, she said there is little that goes to fisheries and forestry. They are trying to leverage with the Department to see if some funds could be gotten from CASP for fisheries.  She further indicated the Department has not been good in reviewing the rights. The last review was in 2009. But CAF is there to advise the Department on fisheries management, revoking of rights, and reviewing of rights, amongst other things.

Mr P van Dalen (DA), first, wanted to know if a study had been done on the rights of re-allocation to know if this is sustainable and what is available is enough. Second, he asked DAFF to give its opinion on its ability to clampdown on poaching. Third, he asked if DAFF is planning to collapse the small-scale and near-shore sectors into one. Lastly, he remarked the Department appears to have been using a top-down communication approach and that is why there have been grievances around its communication channels.

Mr Ramasodi, concerning crime and poaching, reported this is something that needs a multi-faceted approach. To fight it, you need international cooperation and there is no way that you can do without it. DAFF’s alignment with international bodies and agencies is around fishing crime. On communication, he admitted the Department has not been great at it and that is why it has started a number of interventions.

Mr Njobeni added DAFF is re-organising institutional arrangements. The Department has, as a result, established a task team to meet the Collective – the group that represents the fishing communities. The Department has also appointed a person who is going to be a go-between between it and the Collective.

Ms Ndudane, regarding sustainability study, indicated the issue is being given attention because the last study was done in 2003 by a professor from Rhodes University. About merging near-shore and small-scale, these are separated by a gear type. The Consultative Advisory Forum (CAF) and Fishing Transformation Council (FTC) would look into this matter and see how this is going to be classified. There is a combination of things that needs to be considered.

Mr N Capa (ANC) wanted to establish why the assessment of appeals is not done at the same time in all provinces, and asked what the trends are in these appeals.

Ms Ndudane explained there were stages where the Department had to halt the process and extend periods of consultation, and there have been a couple of issues that crept in. They have not noticed many changes in the trends of the appeals. The good thing is the Department did not do the registration and verification of the fishers, but it was done by the fishing communities themselves because they know who the fishers are in those communities. She admitted there have been issues of in-fighting.

Ms A Steyn (DA) asked if the KZN fishing communities have been informed of the termination of Amagagasotshintso contract and what the response of these communities is. She asked if there is happiness in the fisheries sector because the difficulty is to get the fishing communities to agree on decisions taken.

Ms Ndudane said the KZN fishing communities have been informed about the termination of Amagagasotshintsho contract though there are communities that are not entirely happy. It is difficult to tell whether the fishing sector is happy or not because when you develop a programme, you find that others are happy about it while some are going to voice displeasure.

Mr N Paulsen (EFF) asked if there is willingness from the Department to restore the fishing communities with their livelihood because it appears the priority is to satisfy the commercial sector and not to take care of the deserted fishing communities that have been deprived of fishing rights by the current government.  He also wanted to know if the Department embarked on roadshows regarding the fishing rights allocations to get communities and interested parties to submit applications so as to empower them.

Ms Ndudane explained there is willingness to regulate the sector and restore livelihood to fishing communities, though it is not easy. DAFF is empowering fishing communities in the form of providing training to cooperatives and people. DAFF has started interacting with partners. There are 2 DEA officials who are penciled to join DAFF because they would be with small-scale fisheries.

Mr Paulsen commented there is depression in Saldanha Bay though he is not sure of the cause of the incidents around fishing rights. The Committee needs to ascertain whether it is a case of people not getting the fishing rights or the companies they worked for could not get the rights. The Committee needs to get more information on this issue.

Mr A Madella (ANC) urged the Department to rapidly extend the consultations in the Overberg area where certain things have not been implemented. He said he was invited by a fishing community that was planning a protest because it has been kicked out of the fishing industry without any communication and that deprived many families of their livelihood. He asked if there is a programme in the Department that guides those who have failed to get fishing rights to start cooperatives, because they cannot be rejected forever.

Ms Ndudane indicated that officials from fisheries met with a certain representative on 20 August 2017 and explained to the group about the error on the permit. A memo has been developed by the group and DAFF.  There is a programme for unsuccessful applicants. They have spoken with a Task Team to provide DAFF with a list of unsuccessful applicants so as to train them and see if they could not start their own cooperatives because failing does not mean their desire of getting fishing rights would end. They need the rights to sustain themselves. People have been asked to come forward because sometimes the net could miss some people.

The Chairperson asked the Minister to take up the issue of biosecurity and Tsitsikama with the DEA because the area needs to be utilised for fishing and food security. Climate change matters should not be discussed with NGOs, but only with the DEA. These issues should be contextualised in a proper manner. On support packages, she said the Minister should try to bring together the departments of Trade and Industry, Social Development, and Small Business Development to ensure the packages are well supported.
The composition of Cooperatives should be in line with the laws of the country and not to exclude the youth. The reduction of commercial rights in relation to the basket of small-scale fisheries needs to be balanced to make sure they contribute to the growth of the economy.

Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, on biosecurity and Tsitsikamma, stated the matter would be taken up with the DEA and they are going to see how DAFF is going to work with the DEA because communities in those areas should continue to survive from fishing. Regarding climate change and composition of cooperatives, there is a need to fast track information and see how the Department is going to tackle these matters.

Mr Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, commented the present situation of the country’s hungry people should be addressed because statistics indicate 13, 7 million people in SA go to bed without food. The leadership should hold imbizos to determine how to balance natural resources and human consumption. This would require partnership with the departments of Trade and Industry, Social Development, Public Works, and Rural Development and Land Reform. On how much DAFF can put in terms of protecting the basket, he stated the basket would be limited forever and it would go and pass through the constitutionally obliged department.

Another area that needs to be addressed is that of coordinating law enforcement agencies. DAFF needs the assistance of the army, navy, police, and justice system.

FRAP 2020 Presentation
Mr Maphanga asked if the Department had a strategic plan to ensure the re-growth of tuna and anchovy.

Deputy Minister Cele stated it is an international trend that the world consumes more farmed fish than the wild one. That is something SA has to come to terms with. DAFF is already training 6 doctors overseas to specialise in this area although there is no need to prepare a lot of skills in this area.

Ms Ndudane added that the interesting part is SA does not do the stock analysis and assessment of the tuna. There are scientists that do the analysis, determination, and allocations to member countries. Fortunately, South Africa is a member of CCSBT (Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna). There is a big contestation of what this group of scientists is saying. But the latest information says the stock is doing well.

Mr Van Dalen wanted to know of the 95 applicants that had fishing rights in 2013 how many new entrants and existing right holders were. He also wanted to find out if it were not better to extend the rights in the linefish by 15 years because 8 years is too short. He further remarked that poaching is the problem of the Department. If the Deputy Minister is admitting it is a problem, then that means the Department is admitting defeat.

The Chairperson at that point reminded Mr Van Dalen that the Deputy Minister is not abdicating the responsibility in fighting poaching, but is considering collaboration with the police, navy and other partners. Collaboration does not mean the abdication of responsibility.

The Minister explained that problems around poaching are not supposed to create a view the Department is not doing anything. Many vessels have been found poaching. But when the vessel is in the hands of the Department of Justice, there is nothing you can do. That is why the Department is talking of a collaborative process with the army, navy, police, and justice. This is a global phenomenon. This was discussed even at SADC that coastal countries must use their resources to fight poaching. This means more collaboration is needed.

The Deputy Minister said Mr van Dalen does not want to understand him. There is no compliance of crime. You cannot monitor crime. The Act instructs DAFF in terms of preventative measures. If DAFF finds you harvesting in the middle of the night, you would be regarded as a criminal because you are not going to talk of compliance. There is a need for collaboration to look at monitoring and preventative measures. Police look at crime and poachers are taken to the SAPS. Then that becomes a crime issue. DAFF would work with SAPS in terms of giving them information. It is the responsibility of all of us to protect what seems to be a lucrative resource of the country. The matter is serious and politics need to be taken out of it because it appears to be a lucrative business.

Ms Middleton, on the 95 rights holders, stated the analysis and figures would be sent to the Committee. The issue of new entrants was noted, not only for linefish. All the 8 sectors that were allocated 8 years for linefish in 2013 were re-allocated for another 8 years. But FRAP 2015 allocated for 15 years

Mr Capa wanted to know when would the results of the analysis of lessons from FRAP 2015 be made available and what the basis is for the Internal Review Process.

Ms Middleton said they do not have a model as yet. There are different views from officials of what needs to be done. They are trying to iron out and improve ambiguities and technical details. Lots of views have been received from stakeholders. The results of the review would be released after the 26 December 2017 deadline.

Mr Madella wanted to know if the Department had a programme to take those who had the allocations through the process to ensure these individuals are going to use those rights and to make certain everyone is on the same wavelength.

Ms Ndudane explained the Department embarks on roadshows annually to meet rights holders, but it has never given people assistance in terms of coaching and pointing them in the right direction. But now it is beginning to do that on the Mackerel and Hakeshaw’s new entrants.

Ms Steyn remarked the Western Cape has done an oversight on poaching. A document was sent to Parliament and the Committee needs to get hold of it. If they want to do FRAP right, they need to do a baseline socio-economic baseline study.

Mr Paulsen remarked that poaching is not our problem, but that of the Department. People have a right to poach because they have a right to the fish.

Ms Steyn interjected and asked the Committee not to allow a person who supports poaching.

The Chairperson said it appears Mr Paulsen did not understand policy. Communities do not take much, but must be told there is a process to be followed in order to get 5 fishes, whereas the big companies steal thousands of fishes.

Mr Paulsen asked if the Department is developing the aquaculture space to alleviate strain on the marine living resources. He also asked if the Department has prepared the fishing communities with FRAP 2020 basket. He further wanted to establish how the Department is going to solve the issue of people who get processing rights in their areas but choose to process elsewhere.

The Minister, regarding aquaculture, said a lot has been done, but it is important to look at the cost of establishing one aquaculture. On top of that, there is also collaboration that needs to be done, especially with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR).

Ms Ndudane added SA started farming abalone in the ‘90s. Now the country is looking at intensifying abalone farming. With regard to preparing fishing communities with FRAP 2020, that is the reason why DAFF has established FTC and CAF for gathering data so that rights are issued in a meaningful way. About people who choose to process outside their areas, the LED has rewarded and awarded companies that have not closed their processing plants with work. DAFF is going to look at the processes of the LED so that the processing plant is located where the fish is produced. She further noted there are trawlers in the oceans. Some of these vessels are there legally while others are there illegally. Discussions are underway to bring back the observer programme to monitor activities in the sea.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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