Abstract:

Enhancing benefits to small-scale fishers along the east coast of South Africa

Maria Hauck, Philile Mbatha1, Serge Raemaekers

1Environmental Evaluation Unit, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701

Marine and coastal resources play a significant role in supporting the livelihoods of marginalised communities in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa, providing food and basic income. People were however formally denied access to these resources during the Apartheid era, when many small-scale fishers were considered illegal.  New fisheries laws and policies, implemented since 1998, provided an impetus for novel approaches to small-scale fisheries governance in South Africa and influenced a variety of initiatives in local communities to enhance benefits for this previously marginalised sector.  This paper explores the implementation of different benefit-sharing interventions in coastal communities, including co-management arrangements in KwaZulu-Natal, and tourism initiatives in the Eastern Cape. Extensive fieldwork was undertaken in 2010 and 2011 in two communities in KZN (Sokhulu and Mbonambi) and one community in the Eastern Cape (Tshani-Mankosi), which included 515 household surveys, 45 focus group discussions and 61 key informant interviews. Findings reveal that communities have secured a number of ecological, social and economic benefits through these interventions, however benefits have often been paralleled by significant losses that have negatively impacted on fishers’ livelihoods. While institutional arrangements and benefit-sharing approaches have differed between the provinces, this study has illustrated important linkages between the fisheries and tourism sectors, highlighting the critical role of participatory co-management arrangements and emphasising that small-scale fisheries cannot be understood in isolation of broader livelihood strategies. An overarching conclusion is that the lack of decentralisation of decision-making about marine resource access, use and control presents a key blockage for enhancing benefit sharing in the small-scale fisheries sector.

Presentation Topic

Enhancing benefits to small-scale fishers along the east coast of South Africa

 

Contact Ms Mbatha:

Environmental Evaluation Unit, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701

 

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