Small Scale Fisheries update

Since the submission of comments by interested and affected parties in early November 2010 there has been little progress in the development of the proposed policy for the Small-Scale Fisheries sector. In a hearing before the portfolio committee in early February 2011 the acting DDG for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (“DAFF”) indicated that it was an intention of the Department to commence a limited roll out of the policy in June 2011. Needless to say this has not occurred as the Nedlac process has not yet been finalised. In the middle of September 2011 an amended draft policy was circulated to the various constituencies within Nedlac and it is this document that will be debated and discussed by the Nedlac task team in order to provide Nedlac with a report on the proposed policy. At this stage the task team has only just begun its series of meetings in order to debate the proposed policy but the proposed time line is that the matter be finalised before the end of 2011. DAFF still remains committed to implementing the policy at the beginning of 2012, this, however, appears unlikely as not only must the policy first be finalised but thereafter an implementation plan needs to be developed and the Marine Living Resources Act needs to be amended to include references to the new Small-Scale Fisheries sector in order that TAC / TAE can be allocated to this fishery. It appears that there is still a long road ahead before the policy is implemented.