Big strides for Kogelberg small-scale fisheries

The Kogelberg Small Scale Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) is a pilot project that aims to maximise socioeconomic benefits for the Kleinmond coastal community through market-based incentives, before addressing the environmental challenges facing the small-scale fishers. It is part of the WWF-SA Marine Programme’s approach to addressing the environmental challenges facing small-scale fisheries.

Improving catch data
Gathering and analysing reliable catch data is crucial to managing small-scale fisheries effectively. To improve the quantity and quality of the information being collected, the Integrated Catch Data Monitoring (IMS) project was developed. The project aims to upgrade the paper-based system to a web-based one. Currently, the monitors and fishers who work to keep track of this information for small-scale fisheries use paper and pens to record the data, so it is prone to inaccuracies and manipulation.
There are four monitors and three fishers in the Kleinmond area who are assisting with piloting this project, and since the west-coast rock lobster season opened in November 2015, progress has been steady. The monitors have found the electronic collation of data using tablets much better than keeping track on various paper documents. One of the monitors, Zalisidinga Humphrey Kondlo, explained, “If I had to choose between the paper work and the tablets for capturing of data, my best option would be the tablet. It makes life easier because there is no need to worry about losing paper work and supervisors having to come and pick up the documents on a regular basis.”
Progress has been exceptional with commercial fishers; they have seen smart-phones as the best option for capturing and monitoring data. They are able to capture what they see when they are at sea and to share pictures with other fishers.
“There have been a few changes or corrections that needed to be made, and both the fishers and the monitors are engaging positively with the project to ensure its smooth implementation”, said the programme manager Mr Mkhululi Silandela

Expanding markets
The Kleinmond Vrou Primary Cooperative had the privilege of meeting the General Manager of Pick n Pay Fish Shops, Mr Cliff van Diggelen, and the Financial Manager of Breco, Mr Neil Pascall, in December 2015. Through its good working relationship with Pick n Pay, WWF-SA managed to fulfil one of the goals of the Kleinmond Vrou Primary Cooperative by negotiating that both companies sell pickled and smoked mussels to local restaurants and large retail stores.
The Kleinmond Vrou Cooperative will buy fresh mussels from west coast mussel farms, with WWF-SA arranging the transportation of the mussels to Kleinmond. The cooperative will use a local facility, which was secured by WWF-SA, and Pick n Pay and Breco have agreed to assist with branding and making the mussels available in major Pick n Pay outlets around the Western Cape.