On 16 October 2018, the SA Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, completed the process of deciding 1741 appeals in South Africa's West Coast rock lobster (WCRL) nearshore commercial fishery. By 30 August 2018 - less than 30 days after having been appointed - the Minister issued his decisions on 272 appeals filed by the WCRL offshore fishery appellants. In total, 2013 appeals were considered, evaluated and decided over a period of 60 days.
The Minister's official decisions and his record setting out the reasons for his decisions on the appeals filed in the WCRL nearshore fishery (ZONE F) have now been made public on the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' website.
A total of 739 appeals in Zone F were filed against the initial decisions taken by the Deputy Director-General: Fisheries Management in her capacity as the Delegated Authority on 31 July 2017.
As is the case with the WCRL Offshore, the nearshore commercial fishery remains a highly competitive fishery sector with substantially more demand for fishing rights than can be sustainably accommodated, particularly in fishing zones adjacent to large population centres.
The Minister received, considered and determined a total of 739 appeals for fishing rights in the WCRL Nearshore Fishing Zone F.
The Minister decided to allocate a total of 84 additional fishing rights in Zone F. Of these 84 successful appellants, 6 were excluded for failing to disclose an admission of guilt of fine, 14 were refused rights purportedly for being “medically unfit”, 22 were excluded because they were 65 years or older and 42 were initially refused rights on the basis of comparative score balancing.
Each right holder in Zone F will be entitled to a maximum of 0.23% of the WCRL Nearshore TAC determined in any one season for Zone F.
Should any appellant require further reasons for the Minister’s decision, they may address these requests to FRAP2015appeals@daff.gov.za requesting reasons under section 5 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000.