The fishing industry in South Africa was granted a reprieve when the Fisheries Department agreed to a temporary solution to allow fishermen to resume their work.
Of the previous 303 permit holders, only 115 were successful in acquiring the right to fish under the new allocation process.
Currently, the interim agreement is as follows:
•Fishermen will be allowed to resume fishing activities on Friday 10 January 2014 after applying for exemption;
•Applicants will be given their score sheets, which will allow them to see how they have been scored and ranked;
•Applicants will also receive the reasons for the decisions taken on their applications in the adjudication process;
•Applicants whose applications were denied have 30 days to appeal, from the time they receive their score sheets and the reasons for denial;
•After which, the appeals are taken to the appeal authority, who then has 30 days to reach a decision; and
•During the appeal process, fishermen are allowed to fish given they provide evidence of their fishing activities between 2007 and 2012.
“This interim solution is a victory for fishermen and their families who depend on their catch to survive and earn a decent living”, said Pieter van Dalen, the DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
“While we welcome the Department’s answer to our calls, we remain concerned that this is an interim move and a permanent solution must be reached without delay”, added Van Dalen.