WWF hooks up with Kogelberg fishers over issues
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Cape Town - The small-scale fishers of Kogelberg along the False Bay coast are to benefit from projects by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to help them deal with the impact of climate change on their livelihoods.
The fishing sector provides income to many livelihoods, and insecure fishing rights over the last 12 years continue to negatively affect them. Various community projects are planned and it is hoped these will improve their lives.
The small-scale fishing sector provides income to 200 fishing communities and provides income for 20 000 fishers along the South African coastline.
WWF discussed in a webinar the significance of the Koegelberg fishing sector. Pringle Bay, Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay were focused on during their various projects over the recent years to see how changes can be made for the benefit of the fishers in these areas.
WWF sustainable fisheries manager Junaid Frances said: “Fishers are at the coalface of climate change as they are the ones out at sea making their livelihoods. I have heard them speak about the strong winds, choppy waters and having to look longer for fish, which has made it even harder for them to access their livelihoods.”
He said fishers are at the forefront of witnessing environmental and climate change impact on the ocean. “The changing wind patterns, changing water temperatures and strong winds affect fishers’ abilities to catch fish,” he said.
They had also been largely ignored in providing feedback on which areas should be marine protected areas.
WWF implemented projects that ensured engagement took place with fishers and various stakeholders. This would ensure fishers were included in making decisions and able to provide feedback on issues they faced.