Is There a Future for Small Scale Fishers?

Whale Coast Conservation

Date(s) - 07/07/2015
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Green House


“The realities faced by small-scale fishers are harsh and immediate”, said Mkhululi Silandela, WWF-SA’s small-scale fisheries officer, speaking at the WCC talk in July.


A large audience, including small scale fishers from as far as Pringle Bay in the east and Buffelsjag in the west gathered to find out if there might be a future for this industry.
“A pragmatic approach to addressing the environmental sustainability issues of the fishing activities in the area will not succeed unless it considers the additional challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which are rampant in the coastal communities.
WWF-SA has been working with the Kogelberg fishing communities and various stakeholders in Kleinmond since 2013 to address some of the key environmental and social challenges facing South Africa’s small-scale fisheries.

The Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) is the first of its kind in the country and is built on the premise that small-scale fisheries need to be both socially and environmentally sustainable in order to sustain livelihoods. Over the last year, together with the community, the project partners have pulled together a work plan to achieve resilient fisheries. Key to the work plan is enabling environmentally responsible small-scale fishers to participate more actively in the supply chain. This will enable them to play more of a role in the marketing and processing of their catches, Thus benefitting from better returns for their efforts. This will require the support of the formal retail and restaurant markets, many of whom have expressed a willingness to enable responsible fishers through preferential procurement.
Silandela added, ““We believe this innovative FIP approach provides a viable model for marine conservation because it integrates social accountability and environmental management. What is more exciting about the model is the opportunity to create improved market access for communities who have committed to improving their fisheries.” The long term objective is to see the project emulated in other fishing communities along the South African coast.

Mkhululi Silandela (second from left), William Ntebe (DAFF), Rob Fryer (WCC General Manager) and Jamie Hart (WCC Chairman)

Mkhululi Silandela (second from left), William Ntebe (DAFF), Rob Fryer (WCC General Manager) and Jamie Hart (WCC Chairman)