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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
The EU Regulation 1005/2008 Catch Certification Scheme: A South African Private Sector View
The invitation to address this forum called for an African perspective but that would prove too difficult for one who has spent a working life in the South African fishing industry. Other than with Namibia, South African fisheries share few developmental commonalities with other African Coastal States and the writer confines himself to what he knows best. That said, there are perhaps too many low-tech, artisanal and quasi-subsistence fisheries in the African arena. Such fisheries may appear deceptively simple on the basis of observed practice and volumes of output, but they often exhibit complex commercial organization and they also play a role in international trade. A trading milieu where they can be advanced and modernized is urgently needed. On the face of it, EC1005/2008 seems poorly crafted to meet the needs of artisanal sectors in African countries and that is perhaps a matter that should be proficiently canvassed in greater depth by experts.
The concerns of third countries in general would not cover a wide range of issues, at least not at this time. The time to consider philosophical matters is past—we must now focus almost entirely on the mechanics and perhaps some of the legal implications of the certification scheme, as explained to non-Members in seminar and in the Technical and Information Notes issued together with Regulation. Implementing Rules and Guidelines, promised midyear, have not yet been seen.
South Africa undoubtedly has a far better LRR (Legal, Regulated and Reported) system than anything the Members of the EC are used to and it is hardly surprising that the South African Government, for one, takes some exception to what it seems to regard, at one level at least, as European paternalism. The Government of South Africa has nevertheless commended the objectives of EC1005/2008 and signaled its qualified support. Whether the qualification departs a little far in practice from the requirements so strictly set out in the Regulation remains to be seen.
The private sector has welcomed the intent if not the letter of Regulation itself and is determined to do all it can to ensure that the certification system works smoothly. However, there is an expectation that, as the Regulation now stands, it will be unequal to the needs of our fishing businesses— a statement that may be equally true for many other third countries. Business needs legitimate trade to continue unchanged and undisturbed after 1 January 2010 and at no significant increase in cost to exporters. Lastly, in common with most Third World entities, SA Business wants the Regulation to be implemented in a way that improves opportunities for trade development, something in which the IUU Regulation promises to fail.
See details for related event '5th International Forum on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing'
Link to document