Fragmented participation in management of the fishery for small pelagic fish in South Africa – inclusion of small-rights holders is a complex matter

  • MM Hara
  • J Rogerson
  • J de Goede
  • J Raakjær

Abstract

The reasons why most small-rights holders do not participate in management of the fishery for small pelagic fish (‘small pelagics’) in South Africa, despite legislation and policy encouraging their participation, were analysed. Membership of the Small Pelagics Management Working Group (SPMWG), the main participatory governance organ, is limited to representatives of recognised stakeholder associations. Rights holders therefore have to belong to a stakeholder association, which then selects a member or members to represent them on the SPMWG. Small quotas and the difficulties of sourcing capital mean that small-rights holders are not able to invest in infrastructure. Besides, most of the small-rights holders and their companies lack experience and management skills to survive independently in this highly competitive industry, which is based on high volume and low profit margins. As a result, most of the small-rights holders have no option but to enter into complex catching and processing agreements with vessel- and factory owners belonging to the existing recognised stakeholder associations. For the small-rights holders, it does not make sense to join these associations or even to form their own if they cannot actively participate in the industry independently. Greater participation by small-rights holders should start with their genuine integration into the industry through improved ability to invest in infrastructure and through management skills development. Most likely, this will require an interventionist approach by government.

Keywords: fragmentation, genuine involvement, government intervention, small pelagics, stakeholder participation

African Journal of Marine Science 2014, 36(2): 185–196

Author Biographies

MM Hara

Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies [PLAAS], University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa

 

J Rogerson

Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies [PLAAS], University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa

J de Goede
Pelagic and High Seas Fisheries Management, Branch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries [DAFF], Saldanha Bay, South Africa
J Raakjær
Innovative Fisheries Management [IFM], Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Published
2014-07-30
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X