Call for crayfish quotas for nearshore fishers‚ not commercial fisheries

Hundreds of people from across the Western Cape gathered on Friday at the Department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to protest against the current fishing quotas.

Protesters converged at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Friday, demanding increased quotas. Photo: Yann Macherez

Naseegh Jaffer‚ director of the Masifundise Development Trust‚ which has focused on local fishing communities since 2004‚ presented a memorandum that was accepted by Justice Matshili of the department.

The memorandum calls for all rock lobster quotas to be allocated to nearshore fishing people and not to the big offshore commercial fisheries.

Fishing communities battle the law and a depleted ocean

It also calls for a small portion of the quota to be reserved for conservation and wants the trap system to be banned and to allow only the use of ring nets‚ which it says has a less damaging effect on the environment.

Finally‚ it calls for local and traditional knowledge of fishing communities to be included in fishery management decisions.

The memorandum was signed by Coastal Links Western Cape‚ Masifundise Development Trust and South African United Fishing Front.

Friday’s protest follows weeks of tensions in fishing communities such as Hangberg and Hawston‚ after it was proposed that the total allowable catch for the season needed to be dropped.

Matshili addresses the angry crowd‚ apologising that the department’s deputy director general was not there to accept the memo. – GroundUp.

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By: Yann Macherez

Source: TMG Digital.

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