Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
The comment period on draft policies related to the commercial fishing rights allocation process has been extended.
The Draft General Policy on the Allocation of Commercial Fishing Rights for the 2021/2022 Fishing Rights Allocation Process, the Draft Policy on the Transfer of Commercial Fishing Rights and the Draft Sector Specific Policies for the 2021/22 Fishing Rights Allocation Process were published for comment in September 2021.
In a statement, the forestry, fisheries and the environment department confirmed that comment is now invited until 25 October 2021.
The aim of the Draft General Policy is to guide the allocation and granting of commercial fishing rights prescribed by section 18 of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 across all fisheries as guided by each respective “Fishery sector specific policy”.
The Draft Policy also recognises the “need to ensure the optimal, long-term and justifiable use of marine living resources in order to ensure sustainable development of the fishing sector to achieve inclusive economic growth, to build capacity within the Marine Living Resources Fund (MLRF) and to create sustainable employment consistent with the development objectives of National Government”.
The Draft Policy focuses on application for commercial fishing rights; exclusionary criteria; balancing criteria; granting of commercial fishing rights and access to information.
The Draft Policy on the Transfer of Commercial Fishing Rights sets out the principles and management that will govern the transfer of a commercial fishing right or right or part thereof.
The Draft Policy is designed to outline the manner in which applications for the transfer of commercial fishing rights or rights or parts thereof should be submitted and processed in order to provide guidance and to ensure consistency in the process.
It also aims to “guard against dilution of transformation in the fishing industry” and prevent undue concentration of rights in the hands of one or more individuals or companies and prevent or avoid fronting practices from occurring within the fishing industry.
The Draft Sector Specific Policies set out the objectives, criteria and considerations to guide the allocation of fishing rights in the various fishing industries.
The department also indicated that the public consultation process kicked off on 13 October and will end on 21 October 2021.