Creecy finalises appeals in relation to fishing rights

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy, has finalised the appeal decisions related to the Tuna Pole Line Sector in terms of the Fishing Right Allocation Process 2020/2021 (FRAP 2021).

In reaching a decision, the Minister was guided by the General Policy on the Allocation of Commercial Fishing Rights 2021, the 2021 Sector Specific Policy on the Allocation and Management of Commercial Fishing Rights in the Tuna Pole Line, the principles and objective of the Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA), and various laws relating to transformation.

“In my consideration of these appeals, it was important to ensure that rights were granted and utilised for the purpose intended under the MLRA and the policies. I was mindful of the need to transform and to professionalise the Tuna Pole Line Sector.

“I applied the policies in a flexible manner to achieve a fair and equitable result. In doing so, I did not stray from the objectives of the MLRA and the core principles that underlie the policies,” said Minister Creecy.

The appeal decisions were finalised on 28 April 2023. The General Published Reasons for the Appeal Decisions in the Tuna Pole Line Sector: 2021 will be published on the Department Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s website.

In a statement on Friday, the Minister said she is satisfied that “the appeal process in the Tuna Pole Line sector is fair, reasonable and rational.”

The department had earlier stated that phase three of the FRAP appeals process would deal with the Tuna Pole Line and Squid Sectors and that the proposed date for finalisation of these appeals would be 30 April 2023.

The finalisation of the appeal decisions in respect of the squid sector has been deferred to 12 May 2023.

“Due to the different complexities of the sectors and how they are managed, appeals in the squid sector required additional time and information to be considered and as such, I have deferred the finalisation of my appeal decisions for a period of approximately two weeks, from 30 April to 12 May 2023 to allow the department’s Directorate: Appeals and Legal Review an opportunity to review their recommendations on the appeals in this sector, to ensure that the correct outcome is achieved.

“The deferral will not prejudice appellants and right holders in this sector, because the three months from April to June is a closed season in the squid sector,” said Creecy.

This means that the successful right holders will only begin to harvest squid on 1 July 2023, by which, the Minister will have finalised and issued the appeal decisions.

It is anticipated that the fourth phase of the appeal process, which deals with the appeals in Hake Deep Sea Trawl and Hake Longline sectors, will be finalised by 31 August 2023.

The department is committed to complete each phase of the appeal process within the proposed timeframes, however the timelines are subject to review. The department will also, on an ongoing basis, publish its progress in relation to each phase of the appeals process on its website. –

Source: South African Government News Agency