’Plain fishermen granted fishing rights

Monray Williams, left, from Lentegeur, is the authorised representative for Mitchells Plain interim relief fishermen.

Of a total of 76 applicants, 58 small-scale and interim relief fishermen from Mitchell’s Plain have been recognised and received fishing rights for Western Cape rock lobster and traditional line fish.

The Mitchell’s Plain Fishermen’s Forum said it was grateful for the relief received from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, which also delivered food parcels to Mitchell’s Plain fishermen on Friday May 8.

The forum’s chairwoman, Bridgette Oppelt, said: “We appreciate the assistance for food security at this time and for the snoek run that the department opened for them during the lockdown”.

The forum, established in 2011, aims to ensure that all partners and beneficiaries are informed and able to participate in advising on processes pertaining to the implementation of fisheries policies and projects in the Mitchell’s Plain region.

They challenged the department for several years over the Small Scale Fisheries Interim Relief list, under which beneficiaries on the list were entitled to a R12 000 stipend for the year and which allowed them a limited catch. This is still a work in progress.

In recent months they were given some reprieve and acknowledged for their contribution to putting food on tables.

Ms Oppelt said they were now waiting on the department to grant further relief once Covid-19 lockdown restrictions had been lifted.

“We as Mitchell’s Plain fishers are now glad that they still show that they want to assist our fishers in Mitchell’s Plain and all fishers,” she said.

Fisherfolk from Strandfontein and Hanover Park, as members of the forum, also received food parcels.