Small Scale Fisheries Movement against fishing quotas, South Africa

The allocation of fishing rights in South Africa has led to controversies for more than a decade. The legislations have been favoring large-scale and commercial fishing sector, which has resulted in dispossession of small-scale fishers.


Description

"Capture fishing in South Africa provides livelihoods for many coastal communities, a large part of which engages in small-scale fishing. Of the 43,458 commercial fishers and 29,233 subsistence fishers in South Africa, approximately 50,000 are considered small scale". [1]

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Basic Data
NameSmall Scale Fisheries Movement against fishing quotas, South Africa
CountrySouth Africa
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific CommoditiesFish
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn South Africa, fish consumption rose by 26% between 1999 and 2012. "In 2012, the fishing industry contributed approximately USD 435 million to the South African economy – increasing by USD 113 million since 2008" [1].

However, although there is a tendency to support industrial fishing, "capture fishing in South Africa also provides livelihoods for many coastal communities, of which a large proportion engages in small-scale fishing. Of the 43,458 commercial fishers and 29,233 subsistence fishers in South Africa,52 approximately 50,000 are considered small scale" [1].

However, as in other countries, national fisheries policy has ignored small-scale fishers, "despite them making up almost 62% of the fishing population – focusing instead on large-scale production of seafood to meet consumption demands. This neglect has sparked significant resistance among fishers." [1]
Level of Investment (in USD)N/A
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population200,000
Start Date01/01/2005
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF);

Equality High Court
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMasifundise: http://masifundise.org,

WFFP: http://worldfishers.org,

Coastal Links: http://masifundise.org/coastal-links/

La Via Campesina
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Women
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherRemoving the fishing rights of traditional small-scale fisher people
Outcome
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of AlternativesThe fisher organisations ask for a human-rights based approach in the fisheries regulations and policies that would protect the rights of small-scale and subsistence fishers.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Although the decision of the Equality High Court has protected the rights of small-scale fisher people and the government adopted targets to address their rights, it is not clear to what extent the forthcoming fisheries regulations and policies will protect their human-rights and ensure fisheries and environmental justice.
Sources and Materials
References

Implicating ‘fisheries justice’ movements in food and climate politics (Mills 2018, Third World Quarterly) [1]
[click to view]

Links

Rights and wrongs: The South African case of fishing rights allocation (Masifundise, 2014) [2]
[click to view]

Coastal Links, South Africa [3]
[click to view]

Fishers march into government offices (GroundUp News, 22.09.2017) [4]
[click to view]

Hout Bay residents call for solidarity with Hangberg (GroundUp News, 22.09.2017) [6]
[click to view]

Small-Scale Fishers In South Africa struggling for survival as the Government pushes for permits and corporate investments (La Via Campesina, 26.09.2017) [7]
[click to view]

GroundUp: Small scale fishers demand their rights (Daily Maverick, 28.11.2016) [8]
[click to view]

Media Links

DAFF official addresses protesting fishers (22.09.2017) [5]
[click to view]

Other Documents

South African Fisher Groups in Protest South African Fisher Groups in Protest
[click to view]

South African Fisher Groups in Protest - 2 In Hamberg, different groups claim their fishing rights and housing rights are reclaimed
[click to view]

Fisher people and fisher organisations like Masifundise protest the DAFF Fisher people and fisher organisations like Masifundise protest the DAFF
[click to view]

Fisher Groups in South Africa Protest Fishing Regulations - 4 Fisher Groups in South Africa Protest Fishing Regulations - 4
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorIrmak Ertör, ENVJUSTICE, ICTA-UAB
Last update28/08/2018
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