FOSAF NEWS - Some good news on the NEMBA saga regarding trout!

Brief back ground:

Our interaction with government departments around the contested regulation of trout has continued. These endeavours have focussed on realising the important win-win achieved through cooperative governance at the Phakisa Ocean labs Conference in Durban in July 2014. The agreement reached at the Phakisa conference was that where trout occur they will not be listed as invasive, where they don’t occur they will be listed as invasive. This was followed by a meeting at Kirstenbosch (dealing with implementation) which in turn was followed by a mapping meeting held at Fern Hill (KZN) in October 2014.  At this meeting the places where trout occur were largely agreed and some additional areas still needed to be added.  FOSAF and TroutSA jointly submitted maps for comment by the provincial agencies and DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs) in March 2015.  Very little was heard back during 2015 and two scheduled mapping meetings could not take place due to a lack of consensus and readiness on the part of the state bodies. 

In July 2015 we received the good news from the KZN MEC that the environmental MINMEC had endorsed the Phakisa win-win.  However, our efforts to have sight of the record of this have thus far proved unsuccessful.  During September 2015 a new version of the regulation of trout framework and some maps were made available by DEA.  These differed substantially from what had previously been agreed. 

 Escalation to DGs

Given the lack of progress and the lack of cooperation being experienced in some provinces we thus wrote to the Directors’ General (“the DGs”) of both DEA and DAFF (Department of Agriculture & Fisheries) raising our concerns at the failure to progress and implement the Phakisa win-win. 

 

In early February 2016, FOSAF, TroutSA and the DGs (and their support teams) met to discuss our concerns.  The meeting confirmed that the Phakisa win-win forms the basis of the way forward and that the MINMEC endorsed this approach.  Provinces have thus been consulted and need to come on board.  The next steps are to finalise the mapping process as soon as possible and at the same time to harmonise the legislation (national and provincial) to facilitate the agreed enabling environment for the trout value chain.

FOSAF welcomes the support the DG’s have shown for the Phakisa win-win and believes these indications of good faith are important for re-building trust between the roles players.  We are grateful for this support and commit ourselves to working with the departments to implement the reasonable and practical way forward to create an enabling environment. 

It is important to note that FOSAF has been successful because we have stuck to our principles and policies.  This is borne out by the fact that government takes us seriously.  As with all policy and legislation the devil is in the detail.  We will remain vigilant but positive and will continue to keep you all posted on future developments.

For the complete report please go to http://www.fosaf.co.za/read-Archives-162.php

NB: The recently published draft Aquaculture is our next hurdle. In its present state it threatens to cripple trout aquaculture and exclude any emerging farmers wishing to enter the industry. Negotiations with DAFF are underway.

14th March 2016

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