There may soon be big smiles on the faces of females in local fishing communities. A proposed plan by government aimed at empowering women as well as youngsters in that industry, may be accepted within the first few months of next year. The Small Scale Fishery policy has been in the making for no less than eight years. Should the green light be given which seems to be the case, it will enable the families of fishermen to generate extra income in a more official capacity.
Michelle Joshua from the Masifundisi Development Trust who is one of the drivers behind this policy, says it aimsto provide redress and recognition to the rights of Small Scale fishing communities in South Africa. She explains that in the past, the work done by the wives of fishermen has always required daily permits. “Their efforts are important in supplementing income but has never been recognised by government.”
Joshua says many women for instance create beautiful artwork from marine by-products such as shells and sand to help put food on the table when their husbands return empty-handed from the sea.
South Africa has 150 fishing communities.