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The allocation of traditional linefish total allowable effort (TAE) for the 2024/2025 fishing season based on equitable distribution, says Minister Creecy

13 March 2024

In a recent article, Ms Carmen Mannarino, Programme Manager at the Masifundise Development Trust was quoted as saying that Masifundise is "dissatisfied" with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment's recent announcement of the traditional linefish total allowable effort (TAE) for the 2024-2025 fishing season. She claimed that small-scale fishers would be "receiving significantly less than the previous interim relief (IR) allocation."

The department refutes Masifundise's claims that small-scale fishers have been allocated significantly less effort for the total allowable effort (TAE) for the 2024-2025 fishing season. "We can confirm that the allocation of the TAE was based on equitable distribution and guided by scientific recommendations. The commercial sector has been allocated 378 standard vessels, while the small-scale fishing sector has been allocated 377 standard vessels of which 300 are vessels where effort historically applied under the IR dispensation. These vessels have now been transferred to the small-scale sector. This was done to address previous inequities between the different fishing sectors and ensure that the newly recognised small-scale sector was not detrimentally prejudiced in the allocation of effort," said Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy.

DFFE acknowledges that traditional linefish is a key and important resource that has been included in the basket of species for the small-scale fishing sector. Like many other inshore fish stocks, traditional linefish species are caught and impacted up by different fishing sectors as a source of protein, for revenue generation and or recreational purposes. In addition to the sectors that directly target linefish, the stocks form a significant part of incidental catch from the big, high-tech trawling activities.

"In order to ensure that the traditional linefish sector is managed sustainably going into the future, and in recognising the significance and importance of traditional linefish to small-scale fishers, I will be requesting the Consultative Advisory Forum (the CAF) to conduct a research study during the course of the 2024-2025 fishing season into the traditional linefish fishery and to advise me on strategies and measures that can be put in place to ensure the sustainable management of the resource while also enabling equitable and fair access between the resource users," said Minister Creecy. 

"The CAF will be requested to review and advise on current catch data collected from all sectors harvesting linefish; the existing bag and size limits; the current moratoria on the catching of certain endangered linefish species; closed and open seasons, and how the impact of other fisheries on linefish stocks can be minimized," added Creecy.

CAF, as has been the practice in the past, will be requested to consult widely with key stakeholders and resource users in making their recommendations, while also receiving inputs and representations from bodies and associations representing the different resource users.

For media enquiries, contact:
Peter Mbelengwa
Cell: 082 611 8197

Notes to editors:
  • The article quoting the Masifundise Development Trust was published in the Cape Argus on 11 March 2024.
  • The DFFE issued a public notice on 4 March 2024 announcing the traditional linefish total allowable effort (TAE) for the 2024/2025 fishing season.


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