Enough time to ensure a seamless fishing rights allocation process
17 Jan 2012
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) takes strong exception to any attempt by anyone who knowingly and intentionally spreads misinformation aimed at causing instability in a very important economic sector; the fishing industry.
Quoting unnamed “reports” that allegedly “indicate that the Department of Fisheries has made no apparent attempt to commence with the process of renewing fishing licences, despite the renewal date for fishing quota allocations being less than a year away”, is not only far from the truth but also extremely reckless and irresponsible and such fallacies also have the potential to cause panic amongst investors and stakeholders.
We are acutely aware of the timelines and with the rights of six commercial sectors expiring only on 31 December 2013 (KwaZulu-Natal prawn trawl, demersal shark, squid, tuna pole, Hake Hand-line and traditional line fish) – almost two years away - and abalone on 31 July 2014 – almost 30 months away, we have ample time to ensure the kind of allocation process we envision.
DAFF would want to assure the public, and particularly those that have a direct interest in this industry, that there is no “looming crisis” and that the department will again, building on the successes of previous rights allocation processes, be able to deliver a seamless, transparent, fair and open process.
This will not be the first time that the DAFF will embark on this important process, and we are determined to build on the successes of the last rights allocation process.
We are further confident that, following a review of the previous process, the adjustments made to improve our internal arrangements and our resolve to consult regularly and extensively with all who have a direct or indirect stake in the industry, will again ensure a rights allocation process that is credible.
Tel: 021 402 3702
Cell: 076 267 5838
Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
17 Jan 2012
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