Deep-sea trawling industry welcomes the conclusion of lengthy rights allocation process

Deep-sea trawling industry welcomes the conclusion of lengthy rights allocation process

The South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA) has welcomed the conclusion of a four-year process that resulted in the allocation of long-term, 15-year rights in the deep-sea trawl fishery for hake.

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, announced her appeal decisions in the hake deep-sea trawl fishery on 4 October 2023. Her decisions confirmed the allocation of rights to 37 fishing companies.

“The announcement of the appeal decisions has finalised an extremely lengthy and demanding rights allocation process,” said SADSTIA chairman, Innocent Dwayi. “We are confident that this milestone will usher in a period of stability that will enable rights holders to invest, modernise and protect jobs in our fishery.”

“The hake deep-sea trawling industry catches about 84% of the annual allowable catch for hake and safeguarding the sustainability, international competitiveness and socioeconomic well-being of the industry is of paramount importance, not only to our members but to the South African economy as a whole.”

The hake deep-sea trawl fishery is by far South Africa’s most valuable fishery, delivering R8.5 billion to the economy each year and sustaining approximately 6 600 good jobs with regular wages and employee benefits. Sweeping changes have taken place in the fishery since the early 1990s and the government’s latest estimates put the ownership of fishing rights by black individuals and companies at 86%.

Dwayi says that in the coming 15 years, SADSTIA looks forward to working in partnership with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to ensure that the fishery continues to be managed sensibly according to scientific recommendations. The association also plans to participate conscientiously in a process to update and amend the Marine Living Resources Act which governs the management of small-scale, recreational and commercial fisheries in South Africa. The Act was passed in 1998 and a suite of updates is anticipated to align the legislation with the substantive changes that have taken place in the fishing industry in the intervening years.


12 October 2023

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