WWF joins forces with small scale fishing communities of the Kogelberg

Did you know that the WWF-SA Marine Programme has been working with Kogelberg region fishing communities since 2013? This began with a series of community engagements to implement a Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIP) action plan, drafted and finalised in consultation with stakeholders in the Kogelberg Marine working Group (KBMWG). The FIP highlights that it is not possible to address the sustainability challenges facing small-scale fisheries in South Africa without explicitly recognising that the barriers to sustainable practices in many of these fisheries are in fact economic and social rather than environmental.

After years of implementing the FIP in the area, WWF-SA introduced the concept of a Fisheries Conservation Project (FCP), which would amongst other things focus on supporting sustainable fisheries and creating sustainable alternative and supplementary livelihood opportunities for the broader community, using the United Nations Development Plan’s (UNDP) Sustainable Livelihoods (SL) approach to reducing poverty. The FCP is part of a broader project between WWF-International, WWF Germany and WWF-SA, and is funded by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the FCP is to improve governance, livelihoods and ecosystems in the small scale fishing communities of the Kogelberg.

There has been much interest and excitement from the community and the next steps are to investigate economic viability and sustainability. WWF-SA will then conduct a feasibility study which includes community engagement and liaison with experts in the respective fields. Projects that are found to be feasible will be implemented, and the community will be trained based on their needs to make this a success!

Kholofelo Ramokone, WWF-SA Intern: Conservation Scientific Officer, Small Scale Fisheries