2013 Annual General Meeting
There is a saying “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”. This certainly applies to 2013 in the squid industry. During 2013 we had to overcome many obstacles, the largest being the poor catches for the current season. This was certainly one of the worst in the recorded history of the squid industry. Notwithstanding that catches were so bad, there were often issues that had to be handled and addressed during the past years:
1. LONG-TERM FISHING RIGHTS
SASMIA along with Grant Clarke of Dawson Edwards were very involved in commenting on the General Policy and the Squid Sector Policy, with some of our comments being taken into consideration by DAFF. However, SASMIA also raised discussed certain concerns arising out of the long-term rights process. These concerns were highlighted in a letter that was sent to the Minister. This letter subsequently lead to a meeting with DAFF where the identified concerns were discussed and debated. However despite these concerns the FRAP 2013 process proceeded and applications for the long-term fishing rights had to be handed in on the 4th October 2013. We awaited the outcome of this process with abated breath.
2. SMALL SCALE FISHERY POLICY
This policy was passed in Parliament in 2013, although the MLRA which needs to be amended to incorporate the S.C.F.P has not yet been amended. The implementation plan for the small scale fisheries policy has also been released yet, confusion still reigns as to how the plan will be implemented in a practical sense. We have engaged DAFF on numerous occasions with very little success. One thing that has become evident is that squid will be included in the basket of species.
3. SECTION 21's
After much headaches and frustrations the majority of Section 21’s were finally approved to the great relief of many of our members including myself.
4. SEISMIC SURVEYS
These surveys have become a major problem for the squid industry, with a number of companies applying for permission to do these surveys in and around our fishing grounds. SASMIA objected to many of these applications. With the help of FishSA, a SEISMIC task force has been formed and the relevant issues have been taken up with the necessary authorities including the Minister of energy.
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, which has had an effect on the fishing industry. One of the issues that was handled by FishSA, which also affected SASMIA, was the diesel rebate issue with SARS. The CEO of FishSA will give us more information in this regard when he delivers his presentation later during this AGM.
This year has seen various problems being experienced in the P.E. Harbour which have been addressed with TNPA. Some of these issues will be discussed at a later stage in this meeting.
7. 2 ANCHOR SYSTEM
A research project has finally been approved by DAFF scientists. This project will start during the closed season. Jean Mwicigi will give us more information in this regard later.
8. OPENING SEASON PROCEDURE
There has been a great deal of dissatisfaction regarding the opening season procedure for 2012. However, this is an issue that SASMIA members cannot seem to agree on. During this AGM we will need to come to an acceptable and fair proposal for all members.
9. TONY EDMEADES
This issue proved to be a major headache during 2013. We will discuss this in great detail during our treasurer’s report.
10. SAMSA/STCW IMPLEMENTATION
On-going discussion with SAMSA took place throughout the year regarding this matter. Selwyn Bailey will give a report/feedback during this meeting.
11. COMPETITION COMMISSION
The squid exporters have applied for an exemption. This will be discussed further in this meeting.
12. STATE OF RESOURCE
This matter has become a major concern for all members and scientists alike. Numerous meetings with the scientists were held during the year. The scientists will give us feedback regarding this problem.
In conclusion I would like to thank all executive members for their support during this year. I would also like to thank my secretary Busi for her support.
I would like to end with another saying: “Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times difficult years end up being the greatest years of your whole entire life, if you survive them”. I certainly wish this applies to all of SASMIA members. I thank you and I wish you all a prosperous and successful year ahead.