South Africa: Fishing for New Futures - Making Space for Marginalised Small-Scale Fishers


Innovative efforts are underway to help turn the tide for small-scale fishers in a way that benefits both these vulnerable communities and the natural resources they depend upon for survival. For this to happen, the supply chain has to be disrupted.

Part 1

For more than two decades, many local small-scale fishers have been living off dry bread and empty promises that social justice and economic benefits will flow their way.

They have been treading water in the government's fishing rights allocation process since 1994.

Although some traditional fishers did obtain fishing rights in, for instance, the nearshore commercial lobster and traditional line-fish sectors, most have not benefited so far -- with the exception of those fortunate to qualify for annual interim relief permits.

This situation has left them marginalised, frustrated and hungry for change.

As a result, social and economic cohesion has been unravelling in many communities along our coastline.

In recent years, we have seen this translate into tales of economic desperation, social upheaval, crime spikes, rampant poaching and even public violence in places such as Hangberg in Hout Bay.

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