The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is considering several proposals to support small-scale fishers, including giving them priority in the remaining allocations of lobster and abalone. Abalone has a high market value and is one of the most sought-after delicacies locally and abroad. Commercial rights had yet to be allocated for abalone and lobster, department officials told Parliament on Tuesday. Assessment teams had recently started processing applications. The department appeared before Parliament’s portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries to respond to issues raised by the small-scale fishermen during public hearings late in 2016. Parliament held hearings on the sector’s state of readiness to participate in the implementation of the Small Scale Fisheries Policy, which aims to "provide redress and recognition to the rights of small-scale fishermen". During the hearings, Cosatu said that it would lobby for the shifting of quotas. The union federa...

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