February 10, 2023

Small-Scale Fisheries Pilot Project aimed towards improving the quality of leadership and operational management skills

The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) in partnership with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) and the Oceana Maritime Academy, hosted a three day Integrated Small Scale Fisheries Empowerment Training Programme in Port Alfred.

The Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) developed and adopted the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy (SSFP). The policy provides guidelines for creating an enabling environment for the sector development. It further marked a paradigm shift in Fisheries Management, as it advocates for unique community-based rights, a co-management approach to Fisheries management, a multi-species approach to fisheries management, and the incorporation of the human dimensions on Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries Management (EAF) (DAFF 2018).

Thereafter, the DFFE developed the SSFP Implementation Plan (SSFIP) to guide the roll-out of the Small-Scale Fisheries sector. This phase marked an official interaction between the Department and registered Small–Scale Fishers together with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in training and registration of cooperatives in the identified fishing communities. The interaction resulted in the allocation of fishing rights to Small-Scale fisheries in South Africa, which laid a foundation for this pilot project. SAIMI as an entity responsible for skills development and capacity building believes the capacitation of SSF with relevant skills to manage their operations is a backbone to an effective and successful business.

The three-day pilot project was aimed towards improving the quality of leadership and operational management skills of Small-Scale Fisheries in Ndlambe local Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province. The training focused on Business principles, Financial Management practices, Safe Fishing techniques, Sustainable fishing practices, and general management of cooperatives. The facilitators from Oceana Maritime Academy and SAMSA constructively engaged these themes in detail with the cooperative leadership that was in attendance.

This pilot project aligns with SAIMI’s strategic goal of being an influential and leading maritime institute in growing, developing and transforming the face of the Oceans economy sector to reflect the demographics of the South African population. SAIMI’s support of these initiatives is part of the targeted efforts towards unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans, as projected by Operation Phakisa’s socio-economic contribution of the sector towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment creation.

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