Nelson Mandela as a president of South Africa
South Africa is a nation well known for its huge water bodies surrounding its boundaries, especially to the south. Over the years fishing has emerged as one of the major source of income to both the government and residents. Initially, the shores were filled with different spices of fish. However, continuous fishing has affected the fishing industry enormously making some of this spices distinct in most of the shores. For example, the red steenbra fish are only a few at the Castle Rock Marine Reserve. The crisis of fish in South Africa, declining catches, and vanishing spices have widely affected the subsistence fishing communities as the source of their food is in jeopardy. Though the issues in the fishing industry started during the colonial period where only the whites had a mandate to fishing, the new governance seems to have borrowed some managerial practices from colonial government to control the shores.
In 1994 after Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa, he made fishing an egalitarian pot of gold for all in his attempt to support the needy in the country. Many cherished this step but 60 percent of the commercial fishing quota was under the disadvantaged individuals. The government reconsidered their decision and came up with marine protected areas (MPAs) which were totally or partially protected from human exploitation. The action was not appreciated by locals as traditional fishermen were not consulted on the issue and the areas they were allowed to fish would hardly meet their demand for fish. Other fishing policies were implemented to curb the situation but the locals continue to trespass the MPAs causing misunderstanding between the government and the traditional fishers.
According to Kennedy Warne, every action will have its own replication. During the colonial period, fishing privileges were given to the colored. Therefore, there was the emergence of social classes and high levels of discrimination. After the new government took power apartheid was abolished and people started exercising their democratic rights. Nevertheless, conflict of interest emerged between the government and the traditional fishers who believe Europeans exploited their resources uncontrollably and they also have right to use the natural resources of their land without restrictions. The government efforts forming MPAs was for a good course but lack of consultation makes it hard for the two parties to come to terms. Despite all the efforts made to save the fishing industry, the government can be said to have acted in a selfish manner. Also, it has violated the cultural norms of the traditional fishers who only relies on fishing for their livelihood.
The author neither support the government nor the fishing communities on the fishing issues. The attempt to conserve marine life by the government is widely opposed by the locals since they aim at controlling almost all the fishing areas leaving them with no other option than to trespass the MPAs. From the rhetorical question used by the author to create the picture of the situation, it is evident that a huge rift exists between the two parties. Lack of consultation is the main cause of this misunderstanding. The fishers slogan unite and fight for fishers rights means no retreat from the fishers until they are made to understand why the government had to implement some fishing policies.
From the essay, one can conclude that following the right process in making and implementing policies is essential for people to adhere to them. Consulting all the relevant stakeholders and considering their views for before executing changes is also critical to avoid misunderstanding in future. The government was supposed to educate the fishing communities the best fishing practices rather than restricting them from fishing areas. Also, some practices are just inborn, think of a child born in a fishing community and all he knows best is fishing. It is inhuman to bar him from fishing without providing him with another source of income. The essay was effective as one can learn how uncontrolled exploitation affects nature. Also, it points out why one need to consider those to be affected by their actions before undertaking them. It would have been advisable to form MPAs but have half of them accessible to fishers who pass through fishing training.
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