Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
The agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister, Senzeni Zokwana, is still re-considering the appeals received from Category B and Category C Appellants in the Hake Inshore Trawl fishing sector in compliance with a court order.
In a briefing to parliament on the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP), the department confirmed that the process is at an advanced stage and should be finalised by the end of November 2018.
The department added that the minister will thereafter consider and evaluate appeals received in the Horse Mackerel fishing sector. This process will be concluded by the end of November 2018.
In terms of the FRAP 2015/16 appeals process, appeals have been finalised in Large Pelagics, Patagonian Toothfish, Seaweed, Netfish, KZN Beach-Seine, West Coast Rock Lobster (Offshore), West Coast Rock Lobster (Nearshore) and Fish Processing Establishment sectors.
The department also indicated that the General Policy on the Transfer of Fishing Rights, the 12 Sector-Specific Policies, the Transfer Policy and the Policy on Fish Processing Establishments are under review as part of the FRAP 2020 process.
The Consultative Advisory Forum and Fisheries Transformation Council will also soon be set up.
An outside agency is also to be appointed to monitor and observe the FRAP process.
The application process for the 12 sectors for FRAP 2020 will commence in September 2019.
The final lists are scheduled to be announced in August 2020.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the department has announced that the High Court judgement that ordered the department to reduce the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for West Coast Rock Lobster will be appealed.
The department had sought to maintain the 2017/18 TAC of 1924.08 tons for 2018/19.
However, following the court judgement, this was reduced to 1,084 tons.
The department holds the view that a higher TAC figure can reduce illegal fishing.
“The current levels of illegal fishing influences the OMP, consequently determining the reduced TAC/E and robbing right holders and communities what could have been their income derived from the sector.”
Communities and right holders in the sector are called upon to report contravention of the provisions of the Marine Living Resources Act to “ensure that we continue to remain on this recovery path”.