The Marine Living Resources Act, 18 of 1998 (MLRA), excluded smallscale and artisanal fishers who catch and sell fish to sustain livelihoods. Furthermore, it also excluded those involved in post harvesting and other activities like bait preparation, cleaning, processing and marketing. In 2002, small-scale fishers gathered at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to discuss fishing policy. This triggered a civil society process to address small-scale fishing in South Africa. In 2005, the government adopted long-term fishing policies that made no provision for small-scale fishers. Later that year, the matter was taken to the Equality Court which ordered that a new policy be developed to secure rights for small-scale fishers.

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