Boost for SA mussel pickers

2015-10-02 20:08
Senzeni Zokwana. (GCIS)

Senzeni Zokwana. (GCIS)

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Cape Town - The mussel harvesting industry was given a boost on Friday with Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana's announcement of extra rights.

The ''economically marginal'' industry has been providing an income of around 50c per white mussel to people living in villages and towns in the mussel picking zones along South Africa's coastline.

However, the scoring and weighting system for rights allocation had not been taking into account the unique needs of this industry where some rights holders could not afford to travel to their picking zones.

Zokwana said as a result of appeals lodged in 2013 over white mussel rights, the department changed the system and has allocated rights to 21 applicants in seven zones along the coastline. This included moving one rights owner's zone closer to where she lives.

The appeals committee also had to decide on the rights to harvest oysters which were then usually sold to nearby restaurants and hotels.

One of the main factors in granting these rights was whether the applicants lived in the area and whether the rights had been used before 2013.

The areas were the southern Cape, Port Elizabeth, KwaZulu-Natal north coast and KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

Of the 74 applicants, 18 were successful.

The appeals and reallocations came after complaints the 2013 rights allocation process was unfair to small-scale local fishers.

Read more on:    senzeni zokwana  |  conservation

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