Over 700 lobster fishers denied fishing rights - DA

2017-05-11 21:26
Lobster. (IRescuewildlife via Facebook)

Lobster. (IRescuewildlife via Facebook)

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Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application on how the West Coast Rock Lobster fishing rights were allocated.

About 75 of 800 licenses were granted at the end of April 2017, DA MPL Pieter van Dalen said in a statement on Thursday.

"Effectively, the department has rendered these fishermen jobless," Van Dalen said.

Van Dalen said the department had refused to provide reasons for why the fishing rights applications had been denied.

The party said they would submit an application for the score sheets and data used by the department to allocate fishing rights.

Administrative appeal

Van Dalen said they would also approach chairperson of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Portfolio Committee, Machwene Semenya.

He said they wanted a meeting on how the fishing licenses were allocated in a way that denied 725 lobster fishers their livelihoods.

"The outcomes of the application process have been nothing short of devastating for the majority of WCRL fishermen and their families who have held these rights for at least 13 years.

"The lives of thousands of fishers and their families are depending on government to allow them to continue their trade."

Van Dalen said fishers who have been denied their long-standing licenses are entitled to an administrative appeal under the Marine Living Resources Act or to prepare an urgent court application.

The applicants require the following documents which they are being denied by the department:

  • A letter addressed to the applicant, informing him/her of the actual reasons for the decision;
  • A copy of the score sheet for a particular application and all other evaluation records used to score the application;
  • Copies of the score sheets and evaluation sheets for every other applicant in that fishery - for both, the right holder and new entrant applicants;
  • The General Published Reasons; and
  • Complete lists of successful applicants, together with the names and registration numbers of their nominated fishing vessels and crew allocations.

He said every person who fulfilled the criteria should be awarded fishing rights as soon as possible.

Read more on:    da  |  cape town

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