[ Accessed on 30th September 2020 ]
The minister says there will be socio-economic impact assessments of all fishery sectors undergoing the long-term rights allocation process (FRAP2020 /21). There has been some private initiative, but little has been forthcoming from government until now.
The official notification regarding the FRAP 2020/21 rights allocations published on 26 June 2020, set out deadlines for extending the time frames for dealing with the fishing rights allocation process in the commercial fishing sectors.
According to the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, socio-economic impact assessments (SEIAS) will be done in order to review:
the general policy,
the policy on the transfer of commercial fishing rights,
the policy on the allocation and management fishing process establishments
various sector policies.
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A member of the opposition Democratic Alliance party recently put a question to the Minister . The question was:
In which fishery sectors her Department has conducted socio-economic impact assessments?
Whether such assessments have been completed? If not, when will they be complete?
If so a) when and b) what are the further relevant details; and
To what extent her Department has a) consulted and/or b) planned to consult with stakeholders on the review of sector specific policies, application forms and fees?
The Minister says her Department has conducted Phase 1 (initial impact assessment) of the SEIAs on the General Policy on the Allocation and Management of Fishing Rights.
Phase 2 (Final Impact Assessment) is still to be conducted.
“It is anticipated that the assessment will be completed by 11 December 2020,” she writes.
She adds: “further assessments will be conducted on other sector-specific policies for sectors that are due for re-allocation as well as on fees.
“Furthermore, it is envisaged that extensive consultation will take place with the general public, right holders and industry associations during Phase 2 of the socio-economic impact assessments of the policies.”
These engagements will include consultation and public participation processes on all the policies, the application forms and the proposed adjustments in fees and levies.
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As independent analyst, Jeremy Marillier, wrote in his August column:
“Previous sectoral policy drafts were largely cut and paste exercises. What is required is market analysis of the trends in the sector, export markets, trading environments.
“They should be supplemented with particular socio-economic profiles of each sector.
“Various past policies lack economic analysis and socio-economic impact studies.”
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According to legal fisheries expert, Peter Edwards, the Minister and her Department are already behind on their most recent timeline for FRAP 2020/21.
“It has been reported to industry that this timeline is to be amended considerably,” he writes in his latest column.
“Firstly, the socio-economic impact assessment surveys (SEIAS), which should already have commenced and possibly completed, are only going to be completed during the period from end October 2020 to mid-December 2020.
“Therefore, the draft general policy, transfer policy, various sector policies and application forms are only likely to be published for public comment and consultation around mid to end January 2021.
“In these circumstances, and in addition with the moratorium cut off for Section 21 applications most likely also being extended from end September 2020 to the end of February 2021.
“After invitations for rights applications, the deadline for lodging of applications is only estimated to be around the end July 2021.”
[ Accessed on 30th September 2020 ]