Original Articles

Defining fishers in the South African context: subsistence, artisanal and small-scale commercial sectors


Evolution of a new policy for the management of marine fisheries in South Africa led to the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998 (MLRA). Among other innovations, this requires that management strategies be developed for subsistence fisheries. As a prerequisite, definitions and criteria are needed to identify and distinguish them. To achieve this, the Chief Director of Marine & Coastal Management (MCM), the authority responsible for managing marine fisheries, appointed a Subsistence Fisheries Task Group (SFTG) to make recommendations about definitions and modes of management. The process involved successive surveys and consultations with fishing communities, communication with MCM, and a national workshop of all participants. This led to consensus about the following definition:

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