Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy has granted permission to commercial and small-scale fishermen in South Africa to travel freely across provinces to catch snoek during the lockdown period.
Creecy said fishermen must at all times carry their exemption permits during the lockdown period.
“Accordingly, fishers in the Northern and Western Cape may travel within the provinces to catch snoek in what is known as Zone A. At all times, fishing teams must adhere to prescribed hygiene provisions, such as sanitising of hands, sanitising the insides of vehicles and equipment. Restrictions on the number of passengers in vehicles must be observed at all times,” said Creecy.
Creecy said that in compliance with the existing regulations, accommodation will not be opened in fishing villages.
She said small-scale fishers will have to only concentrate on fishing in areas where they can move in and out within a single day.
“We understand that this might not be convenient, but we are trying to make sure that the snoek run, which is very important for household food security in the Western and Northern Cape people, will benefit communities, but at the same time ensure they are observing the regulations,” said Creecy.
In recent months, Creecy has championed the rights of the fishing community, saying that it is imperative for small-scale fishers to be granted access to fishing while they are waiting on their 15-year fishing rights to be allocated.
These 2 749 fishers were declared for the first time in 2018 as small-scale fishers as part of the roll-out of small-scale fishing sector in the Western Cape.
(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)