File photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - The deadline for appeals by the public in the long-term fishing rights allocation process is next Friday, the fisheries department said.

“Late appeals will not be accepted, and anybody who feels aggrieved is urged to lodge an appeal before the closing date,” department spokesman Palesa Mokomele said in a statement on Tuesday.

She said to date the department had received no appeals.

Fishing rights in KwaZulu-Natal for prawn trawl, demersal shark, squid, tuna pole-line, hake handline, white mussel, traditional line fish and oyster fishing sectors had expired on December 31.

Mokomele said the department had received 3490 rights applications for the various fishing sectors. Only 593 were successful.

“Applicants who are successful or unsuccessful, may... appeal to the minister against the decision of the delegated authority and the appeal shall be dealt with in the manner and in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the minister,” she said.

An applicant had 30 days after being notified of the decision to appeal to the minister.

The appeal would then be served on the delegated authority, at selected venues across the country including Hermanus and Saldanha in the Western Cape, Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape, Pretoria in Gauteng, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

Mokomele said 96.2 percent of the rights issued for demersal shark fishery was to black-owned companies, of which 50 percent were female, 83.3 percent in the hake handline sector and 77.2 percent in the traditional linefish sector.