Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
26 April 2019
The agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister, Senzeni Zokwana, has called on fishing companies to not only embrace transformation in the fishing industry but lead it.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the 2020 Fishing Rights Allocation Process held in Somerset West.
He added that the Oceans Economy and, in particular, fisheries and aquaculture provides an economic growth opportunity to achieve prosperity in South Africa.
“Transformation, diversification and inclusiveness in the business of fisheries cannot be overemphasized in this space and time”, he said.
According to the minister, substantive transformation in the fishing industry still remains a challenge and a combined effort involving all stakeholders was needed to address it.
The minister pointed out that the agriculture, forestry and fisheries department needed to consider clustering fishery sectors so that fishery nearshore resources were reserved to benefit the small-scale fishing sector and small and medium businesses.
Coastal communities needed to be assisted by government and the private sector in order to ensure the success of the small scale fisheries policy implementation.
Mention was made of work underway to set up small fisheries cooperatives including business management training. The private sector was invited to come onboard to provide mentorships and investment to facilitate growth.
The minister confirmed that the Fisheries Transformation council will be revived to ensure fair and equitable access to the allocation of fishing rights to historically disadvantaged persons and to small and medium enterprises.
Aquaculture Development Zones were also being set up to drive the expansion of aquaculture.
The minister called on stakeholders to participate in the consultation process on the draft policy on rights allocation.
The draft policy is not yet available.