Samudra Report

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Issue No:56
  • :0973–1121
  • :July
  • :2010

The Fisherwoman
The fisherwoman
in her boat
under the sky,
deep blue above,
deep blue below,
hat
salty, skin
rippled,
waiting,
the fisherwoman
sings.

A soft song
o my love, o my lord,
carry me, float me, rock me, rescue me
a soft song for the fish and the sky
and the broad ocean and all the things on islands
that call to her.

Buildings, streets, people, suits
on green islands
across the ancient ocean,
the endless sleeping sea.

Through the light she sees the islands
and the fish watch
and wait.

—Janet Jackson

Report : SOUTH AFRICA

Seeking Protection

A recent workshop held at Langebaan, South Africa, dealt with how communities can be themselves protected as marine protected areas are increasingly developed


This article is by Jackie Sunde (jsunde@telkomsa.net), Member, ICSF, and Researcher at the Environmental Evaluation Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa


How can we be protected from protected areas? This has been the refrain from small-scale fishing communities up and down the South African coast over the past ten years whenever they have come together to share their experiences of conservation and fisheries management policy. Small-scale fishing communities along the South African coastline, without exception, have a collective history of displacement, dispossession and marginalization due to the declaration of marine protected areas (MPAs). While the distinctive experience of this differs from area to area, MPAs have been viewed with fear and mistrust, rather than as one of several management tools that has the potential to protect the resources that these communities have traditionally depended on for their food security, their livelihoods and for a rich array of customary and spiritual practices that sustain their cultures.  

It was towards this potential that...

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