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Policy evolution in South African fisheries: the governance of the sector for small pelagics


  • Mafaniso Hara
  • Jesper Raakjær


This article analyses the evolution of policy in South Africa's fishing industry using the fishery for small pelagics as a case study. Policy changes were largely instigated to reverse the inequitable distribution of economic resources and productive assets that had historically favoured the white minority at the dawn of democracy in 1994. The analysis combines 'actor-oriented' and 'institutional' perspectives, and proposes that the evolution of policy is driven by interests, networks, alliances and discourses, which are largely determined by the power and resources that can be mustered by specific actors. A major lesson from the study is that it is particularly difficult for new entrants to influence policy for transforming capital intensive fisheries, where the need for capital, market forces and conservation ideology collude to raise the entry bar.

Suggested Citation

  • Mafaniso Hara & Jesper Raakjær, 2009. "Policy evolution in South African fisheries: the governance of the sector for small pelagics," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 649-662.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:26:y:2009:i:4:p:649-662
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903181423

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    Cited by:

    1. Cooper, Rachel & Leiman, Anthony & Jarre, Astrid, 2014. "An analysis of the structural changes in the offshore demersal hake (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus) trawl fishery in South Africa," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(PA), pages 270-279.


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