Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Minister, Senzeni Zokwana, has urged all players in the fishing industry to come to the party to ensure that the sector's transformation agenda is realised during the 2020 Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP2020).
"Substantive transformation in the fishing industry still remains a challenge and it needs all of us to work together to achieve such needed transformation in this sector. When we talk transformation in the fishing industry, we need to be honest in our discussions in order for government to adequately deliver and achieve on this imperative," Zokwana said.
Zokwana was speaking at the launch of 2020 Fishing Rights Allocation Process held in Somerset West, Western Cape. The department is currently hosting the Fishing Rights Allocation Process Seminar in preparation for (FRAP2020).
The two-day seminar, which started on Tuesday, aims to stimulate discussions on broadening participation in the fishing industry in an equitable and fair manner. The seminar will present the 2020 draft General Policy on the Allocation of Fishing Rights.
Zokwana challenged big and established commercial companies within the fishing industry not only to embrace transformation, but lead it.
He also invited those that have resources at their disposal to come forward with workable suggestions on how they can achieve substantive transformation in the sector without collapsing and jeopardising businesses and investments already made in the sector.
The participation by coastal communities cannot be ignored any further, 25 years down the line in the country's democracy, he said.
"These communities cannot and should not be reduced into labour only. They have experience and many of them are fourth, fifth and sixth generation of fishing families and have learnt the art of fishing from their preceding family generations. These communities must be assisted by both government and industry to ensure the success of the small scale fisheries policy implementation.
"It is for this reason we have begun with speed the building of small scale fisheries sector through coastal community's cooperatives. We have trained them on business management and we seek industry's buy in through availing continuous mentorship and capital investments so that they grow. Small scale fisheries will play a critical role in addressing food security and unemployment," Zokwana said.