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FRAP delayed to consult

The South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (Sadstia) has welcomed the publication of a notice in a Government Gazette, which effectively suspends the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP).

FRAP would have culminated in the allocation of long-term rights across 12 commercial fisheries by December 2020.

The Government Gazette was published on Friday 2 August.

“We are very encouraged that Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Barbara Creecy, has heard the genuine concerns of the fishing industry around FRAP 2020 and has acted to review the entire process,” said Terence Brown, chairperson of Sadstia.

Members hold 15-year fishing rights that allow them to participate in deep-sea trawl fishery for hake.

“We are committed to working with Minister Creecy and her department to ensure that the process for allocating long-term fishing rights is rigorous and transparent and safeguards the sustainability and competitiveness of the fishing industry.”

Sadstia represents the 33 rights holders in the hake deep-sea trawl fishery which is by far South Africa’s most valuable fishery, delivering R6,7 billion to the economy each year and sustaining approximately 7 300 good jobs with regular wages and employee benefits.

The Association believes that a delayed FRAP will allow the department to conduct a comprehensive socio-economic study of the 12 fisheries that will be impacted by the allocation of rights.

Such a study will clarify the impact that allocations policy will have on investment in these fisheries, the jobs they create and sustain, and their global competitiveness.

It will also allow the department to quantify the significant transformation that has taken place in the fishing industry since 2005, when long-term rights were last allocated.

Sadstia has also welcomed the call by Creecy for nominations for individuals to serve on the Consultative Advisory Forum (CAF), a committee that should play an essential role in the management of fisheries in South Africa, which has not been constituted since 2002. According to the Marine Living Resources Act (1998), the membership of the CAF should be broadly representative and multidisciplinary and it should advise the minister on, among other things, the management and development of the fishing industry, fisheries legislation, fisheries research and the allocation of money from the Marine Living Resources Fund.

The minister has called for nominations to the CAF to be made by 30 August.

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