The Fisher Folk of South Africa

This time the South African Post has been very creative. Ten new stamps are presented in a fish shaped sheet under the title The Life of Fisher Folk.

The Republic of South Africa is contained by approximately 2798 km of coastline running between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. This geographical convenience has created a multitude of opportunities for both industrial and recreational fishing of diverse species. While industrial fisheries are said to have been in existence since the 1890’s, the small-scale fishers have come into the spotlight only after 1994 when they were included in the fishing rights regime. Since then, efforts have been made to fight for social inclusion of small scale fishers and protection of their rights. In addition to being a part of the risky business of fishing, small scale fishers face challenges such as poaching, restriction in their access to land, social services and markets among many others. Increasing number of NGOs and fishers’ forums continue to fight for the small scale fishers with the support of WWF and focus is being brought to the human rights of these fishers. The life of fisher folk is indeed a challenging one.

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