New app for small-scale fishing industry

The new app will help the people of Lambert’s Bay verify who actually fishes for a living and who has sold their fishing permits. (David Harrison, M&G)

The new app will help the people of Lambert’s Bay verify who actually fishes for a living and who has sold their fishing permits. Credit: David Harrison, M&G.

A free app – co-developed by academics, government, civil society and fishing communities – will be the lynchpin in the government’s efforts to launch and roll out a small-scale fishing industry in South Africa.

Traditional and artisanal fishing communities, according to an Equality Court ruling in 2007, have been consistently marginalised during both apartheid and in the democratic South Africa. With a new small-scale fisheries policy, almost nine years in the making, the government is attempting to redress the situation.

The foundation of this policy is data and the co-management of South Africa’s resources.

The app, known as Abalobi (abalobi bentlanzi is isiXhosa for someone who fishes), will be the information management system for the small-scale fisheries industry, says Craig Smith, the director of small-scale fisheries management in the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

In South Africa, living marine resources are allocated via fishing permits, but only three groups were previously recognised groups: commercial, recreational and subsistence.

“[Traditional fishers] never really got legal rights to fish marine resources in their own name, or in terms of their own right,” Smith says.

Lus for more? Read the full story over at the Mail and Guardian.

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SciBraai, a proudly South African NPO dedicated to science journalism, communication and outreach. SciBraai began on Heritage Day 2013 - Anina Mumm and Engela Duvenage in 2013 launched the website, scibraai.co.za, to feature stories about South African research, technology and innovation, and the people behind the discoveries. This blog welcomes all South Africans to go behind the scenes of local science and exploration endeavors. It’s a place to share stories about the scientists themselves and the interesting, little-known activities that are often left out of research journals. A place to learn more about the stuff that makes South African science and its people tick. A place to feel inspired about what South Africans are discovering on home soil and abroad. Because local is lekker, no matter what language you use. SciBraai's following has grown in the past years, and we are now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We've also begun organising real-life braai's where we share round-the-fire stories about South African science and scientists.

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