South African fisheries reform – past, present and future?
Nielsen, Jesper Raakjar
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Two approaches to transformation of the South African fishery industry were adopted after the advent of democracy: the broadening of access rights to new rights holders (individuals and companies) through state intervention (external transformation); and market-led change within state black economic empowerment policy (internal transformation). The government has largely missed its opportunity to ensure the restructuring of the industry was managed in such a way as to achieve broader societal goals such as the alleviation of poverty and upliftment of fishing communities. While some progress has been made in terms of the reallocation of quotas to previously disadvantaged individuals and groups, real problems remain. Much ‘transformation’ within established fishing companies in terms of advancing historically disadvantaged individuals and groups is cosmetic. Not all bona fide fishers were able to secure quotas. Many quota allocations were too small to be financially viable. New entrants to the industry do not have sufficient access to capital, infrastructure, equipment and technical know-how to establish viable businesses. Certain rights holders are quota holders on paper only. The state should intervene more vigorously to support new entrants by providing access to capital, business and management skills, providing institutional support, protecting bona fide fishing communities, and setting up an effective watchdog to monitor real progress towards transformation of the industry linked to granting long-term fishing rights.
- Policy Briefs (PLAAS)