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Case Study

June 6, 2016

Case Study: Prototype links South African fishing co-op to markets, models value chain innovation for new law

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Small-scale fishing in South Africa has been characterized by a system in which individual fishers are at the mercy of supply-chain middlemen and have no control over the prices they receive for their diminishing catches. To improve their incomes, fishers expanded their efforts, putting increased pressure on the area's already overexploited marine resources, which include west coast rock lobster and line-caught fish species. Shortening the value chain so that fishers would have greater access to markets at better prices required harnessing new legislation granting commercial fishing rights and marine management responsibilities to small-scale fishers working in newly formed cooperatives. Implementing this novel approach designed to contribute to local socio-economic development and help alleviate poverty would require the support and participation of community fishers, NGOs, and businesses, as well as tourism, university, and government officials.