2012 Annual General Meeting
This year has certainly been a challenging year for the Squid industry. Notwithstanding that catches are down 50% – 60% from last year, there were other issues that the executive had to handle which could negatively affect the industry in a short to medium term. Please find below a summary of certain issues the SASMIA executive has addressed during the past year.
1. PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
The results of the performance reviews came out earlier in the year. SASMIA with the help of Dawson sent a response to Raymond Scott and the Minister outlining our concerns regarding the discrepancies/inaccuracies that came out of the performance reviews and the RFI sector report.
2. SMALL-SCALE FISHERY POLICY/MLRA AMENDMENTS (basket of species/new entrants)
Various meetings were called by DAFF regarding changes that need to be made to the MLRA to incorporate the small-scale fishing policy. SASMIA attended these meetings. During these meetings the industry was called upon to highlight the changes they want to see made to MLRA. SASMIA with the assistance of Grant Clark from Dawson submitted proposed changes that we wish to have made to the MLRA. We are still waiting for a response from DAFF.
3. SECTION 21
After much pressure from SASMIA/Dawson, Section 21’s are now being processed and approved.
4. SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDY/PROGRESS REPORT
We want to thank all members who participated and filled in their questionnaires. According to Warwick Sauer the preliminary results should be ready by end of October 2012 and will be forwarded to us for consideration by the new executive committee.
5. TRANSNET NATIONAL PORT AUTHORITY
Throughout the year various members have encountered problems operating in the port of Port Elizabeth.
Some of the problems experienced were:
- Inefficient operation of the slipway.
- Security access.
- Implementing of the SHE Files.
- Lack of quay space.
These problems are being continuously addressed at various forums and are being taken up at the highest levels.
6. SAMSA/NEW CODES TO BE IMPLEMENTED/SAMIC 04 – 06 JULY 2012
SAMSA is in the process of amending some of their safety regulations to align these with international standards (STCW). Members who have been through the changes are happy with them and feel that now it creates a career path for fishermen. One or two issues are still being addressed with SAMSA.
7. THYSPUNT/ MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
SASMIA is continuing to oppose any proposed closing of our fishing grounds. Various meetings have been held with the industry. Along with Dawson we will object to any closing of our fishing grounds.
8. DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
The Minister of Labor is in the process of determining the viability of the sectoral determination in the fishing industry. At this stage squid is excluded because of the statutory council that was formed and the agreement that was signed with the unions.
SASMIA has attended various meetings regarding this matter. We also agreed to send a letter to the DoL outlining the benefits squid fishermen enjoy under the protection of the Squid Statutory Council.
As everyone is aware SASMIA is a member of FishSA. The Association has done a lot of behind the scenes work in engaging role players that have an effect on the fishing industry. However, to take FishSA to the next level it is felt that an independent person is needed to run the organisation. This means though that the membership fees of FishSA will increase. This proposal will be discussed by SASMIA members at this AGM.
10. DAFF/OFFLOADING PROCEDURE OF SQUID
All members have been informed regarding the offloading procedure. However, as SASMIA we feel that this contradicts our permit conditions. This issue was taken up at the Squid Management Working Group meeting where it was decided that the compliance department of DAFF will put a proposal forward to all parties involved and get a common understanding. We await this proposal.
Please note that the SASMIA website has been updated.
In conclusion I would like to thank all the executive members for their support during the year. I would also like to thank my secretary Busi for her support. To the members, thank you and I wish you all a prosperous and successful year ahead.