Southern Peninsula faith leaders and clergy unite in support of fishing communities in serious crisis in the Western Cape.
Date: Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Kalk Bay
On New Year’s Eve, the long term fishing rights in eight fishing sectors expired and led to the fishing industry experiencing a serious crisis affecting many communities in the Western Cape. The concern is that this loss of fishing rights will result in many people losing their daily income and give rise to many other social problems, if practical solutions cannot be found. This will further lead to poaching, increase in alcohol and substance abuse and a negative impact on children and family life. The Ministers office has granted the fisher-folk an extension of the fishing rights until 21 February 2014 during which time they can lodge an appeal against the loss of their fishing rights.
The future of many the fisher-folk, their families and the wider fishing communities is of grave concern and warrants our response. During this temporary extension period, the affected fisher-folk had many consultations with the Government and affected communities. At a public meeting held in Kalk Bay, fishermen from various fishing communities have requested the church and other faith based-leaders to support and assist them in their desire to resolve the crisis.
As people of faith, we believe that we must advocate against any form of injustice. With this in mind, Holy Trinity Church has invited The South African United Fishing Forum to make a presentation on this very serious crisis to all clergy and laity. All clergy, other faith leaders and any laity in the area have been invited to this information meeting at Holy Trinity Church.
It is our prayers that a just resolve to the situation will be found, and encourage the communities of faith to share the concern of our brothers and sisters who are suffering the consequences of this crisis.
“Our fishing community and the wider Kalk Bay will be seriously hurt by the outcome and it will bring all sorts of pressure to our community. If the crisis is not resolved, then fish will become a scarce commodity and children will be deprived of an important source of protein. I pray that there will be a just resolve to the situation and that our church community will share the concern for justice.” Fr Wilfred Meyer, Rector Holy Trinity Church Kalk Bay
“The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) supports people of faith to peacefully resolve this fishing permit crisis.” Bishop Geoff Davies (Executive Director of SAFCEI)