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To: Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy and Sue Middleton DDG

Petition for Minister Creecy's Promised Increase in Traditional Line Fish Allocation for SSF

Coastal links and Masifundise are urging Minister Creecy and Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) to revise the traditional line fish allocation to ensure a fair and equitable distribution that reflects the commitments made to the small-scale fisheries sector over the years. We demand the following:

1. FULFILLMENT OF MINISTER CREECY'S PROMISE: ensure that 50% of the traditional line fish resources are allocated to small-scale fishers, as promised by Minister Barbara Creecy. Small-scale fishers need to receive a fair and sufficient allocation of line fish resources to support their livelihoods and sustain their communities.

2. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: include small-scale fisher communities in the decision-making process regarding allocations, considering their traditional knowledge, expertise, and experience and provide transparent information about the criteria and process used to determine line fish allocations, allowing for public scrutiny and understanding.

3. SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS: establish support programs and initiatives to enhance the capacity, skills, and infrastructure of small-scale fisher communities, enabling them to thrive in a competitive industry.

Why is this important?

With Small-scale fishing (SSF) rights now granted across all provinces in South Africa, there arises a significant concern among small-scale fishing cooperatives regarding the economic viability of the species allocated in their basket for sustainable livelihoods.

On 4 March 2024, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) announced the traditional linefish total allowance effort (TAE) for the 2024/2025 fishing season. In a media statement on 6 March 2024, Masifundise and Coastal Links expressed deep dissatisfaction with the DFFE’s announcement regarding the Traditional Linefish TAE. The allocated TAE for the small-scale fishing sector is inadequate and insufficient efforts have been made to ensure SSF communities have a viable basket of species.

The implementation of the SSF Policy in South Africa lacks assurance for improving conditions for small-scale fishers, not due to the Policy itself but due to DFFE’s consistent prioritisation of commercial and recreational fisheries. Traditional line fish is the cornerstone of a viable basket which can ensure food security and local economic development. But food security is not the only aspect to be considered, TLF species like snoek and yellowtail are an important cultural and traditional foods for the coastal communities, as well as for the culture of small-scale fishers.

It is clear that the concerns around the TLF announcement be addressed immediately. Masifundise launched a petition urging Minister Barbara Creecy and DFFE to fulfill their commitment of allocating 50% of the Traditional line fish TAE to SSF.
South Africa

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2024-03-28 14:59:23 +0200

14 March: Media statement response to DFFE
https://www.masifundise.org/media-statement-masifundise-and-coastal-links-challenge-dffe-statement-on-equitable-distribution-of-tlf/

2024-03-12 15:49:42 +0200

06 March: Media statement published- https://twitter.com/MasifundiseDT/status/1765337873308324262

2024-02-21 15:02:05 +0200

21 February: Media statement published - https://www.masifundise.org/media-statement-small-scale-fishers-urge-minister-creecy-to-fulfil-promise-of-50-traditional-line-fish-allocation-to-the-sector/

2024-02-15 12:21:28 +0200

100 signatures reached

2023-12-08 16:33:18 +0200

50 signatures reached

2023-12-08 12:47:16 +0200

25 signatures reached

2023-12-08 11:22:04 +0200

10 signatures reached