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FRAP process extended until 2020

Fishers in the commercial sector will have to wait until December 2020 to know the status of their fishing rights.

Cabinet decided last week to extend the Fishing Right Allocation Process (FRAP) until next year in order to complete allocation in 12 sectors.

The FRAP extension applies to fishing rights for KZN prawn trawl; Demersal shark; Tune-Pole line; hake handline; line fish; white mussels; oysters; squid; small pelagics (pilchard and anchovy); hake deep sea trawl; hake longline; and South Coast rock lobster.

According to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) the extension of the time frame for dealing with these applications is necessary as the “fishing rights allocation process is highly contentious and that a number of legal and administrative procedures must be followed in order to ensure that a proper, transparent and legally defensible process is followed”.

“Cabinet’s approval for an extension of the time frames will be in the interest of all South Africans, including both the current right holders and aspirant applicants,” the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said in a statement.

Officials will now conduct socio-economic impact analysis studies on the General Policy on the Allocation of Commercial Fishing Rights, as well as the 12 Sector-specific policies.

Services providers will also be appointed to manage the allocation process and manage the database, among other tasks.

“The department intends to ensure that the awarding of all the tenders as well as the actual decision-making during the allocation process are open to public scrutiny.”

According to Creecy, officials will thus be embarking on an extensive public consultation process on the proposed policies. She says suitably qualified and credible members will be appointed to the Consultative Advisory Forum (CAF) as well as to the Appeals Advisory Panel(s) to advise the Minister on appeals lodged.

“It is important to re-state today the decision to review the FRAP 2020 process, which will see the re-issuing of licenses for 12 of the 22 fisheries. This decision has been taken following consultation with the sector and is aimed at ensuring we follow all regulatory and legislative requirements.

“It is essential that the process is seen to be fair, open and transparent. It must promote the transformation of the sector, and create sustainable livelihoods for the many coastal communities who have no other means of support,” said Creecy.

. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries replaces the former Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

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