The International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa (IOI-SA), in consultation with various stakeholders involved in the small-scale fisheries sector, recognise the need for enhancing stakeholder coordination in support of the Policy for the Small-Scale Fisheries Sector and its effective implementation in South Africa. The establishment of the small-scale fishing sector is in line with government’s Nine Point Plan to boost the economy by unlocking the potential of co-operatives, linking to Operation Phakisa, and increasing sales in the agro-processing sector and thereby increasing employment opportunities in rural fishing communities. To this end, IOI-SA coordinated and facilitated a half day workshop that invited stakeholders to better understand what role they can play in partnering with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) in establishing the small-scale fishing sector.
The new Policy for the Small-Scale Fisheries Sector is ground breaking in South Africa: the community was previously excluded from fisheries management. Given the many institutional actors involved in the small-scale fisheries sector, and the complexity of managing a sector that crosses socio-ecological boundaries, a good governance approach would benefit from the enhancement of communication amongst stakeholders, the enhancement of communication by DAFF (to communities and stakeholders), and the enhancement of the contribution of stakeholders to support current SSF processes and address gaps.
IOI-SA held this workshop to allow for parties with an interest in supporting the implementation of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy an opportunity to interact with DAFF and each other. The workshop was successful in engaging a wide range of stakeholders. There were many other key stakeholders who were invited but were not in attendance. It is the hope that the workshop report (and any subsequent engagement from IOI-SA) will equip them with adequate information on proceedings. This workshop has started to identify some of the gaps and needs, and areas that will require support and collaboration.
We believe that, following the verification of cooperatives and a needs assessment for each community, there will be an opportunity for a second workshop. This second workshop will look at addressing the specific needs of communities and identifying opportunities for collaboration and involvement from stakeholders. The IOI-SA is committed to being a neutral, transparent facilitator of communication and encouraged all present at the meeting to continue communicating with us and to comment on the report. You can read the full report here: IOISA SSF Workshop Report