South Africa: Radical Paradigm Shift Needed for Small-Scale Fishers


The tidal wave of fishing rights transformation implemented in South Africa over the past two decades has yet to reach the majority of local small-scale fishers. Fortunately, innovative efforts to enable change in this sector are surfacing, including plans to establish the country's first community-driven fisheries improvement programme.

Part 2 (Read Part 1 here)

A radical paradigm shift is needed to turn the tide for local small-scale fishers and their coastal communities, believes Dr Serge Raemaekers, director of ABALOBI.

ABALOBI, a fisher-driven social enterprise based in Cape Town, employs technology to disrupt the dynamics of the value and supply chain in local small-scale fisheries, for the benefit of both planet and people.

In practice, ABALOBI's hi-tech, yet user-friendly, apps establish direct links between fishers and the marketplace, underpinned by a traceability framework.

A manifesto for change

Many structural and distributional inequalities -- characteristics of the South African economy and many global economies -- pin small-scale fishing communities in positions of poverty and food insecurity.

"It's time we look beyond just the fish and look also at the fisher," Raemaekers says. "Turning the tide for these vulnerable fishers requires new strategies, innovation and a disruptive approach towards ensuring social justice, resilience...

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