Sam Willis - FISH Safety Foundation - presenting her research on The Human Cost of Fishing in South Africa

The Human Cost of Fishing – What we know so far – South Africa

Recently, South Africa played host to a significant research event organised by the PEW Charitable Trusts, focusing on the alarming human cost of fishing.
Sam Willis
Research Lead

The event brought together experts, scientists, and stakeholders to shed light on the critical issue of fisher safety and explore potential solutions. Some key aspects discussed during the event were, the legal analysis on fisher definitions, research papers on fisher mortality findings, and the contributions made by various participants.

Sam Willis’ – FISH Safety Foundation Research Findings on Fisher Mortality

Sam Willis’ science paper published in Marine Policy brought attention to the staggering mortality rates among fishermen. Her research highlighted that fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations globally, with significant implications for both individual lives and fishing communities. The accompanying slide deck provided a visual representation of the data, emphasising the urgency for effective interventions.

  • The slide deck can be found here

Legal Analysis on Fisher Definitions by Gina Shabana

During the research event, Gina Shabana presented a comprehensive legal analysis focused on fisher definitions. By examining existing laws and regulations pertaining to the fishing industry, Shabana shed light on the need for clear and inclusive definitions that accurately capture the diverse range of individuals engaged in fishing activities.

  • The paper can be found here

Daphne Guelker’s Paper on Fisher Definitions

Another notable contribution came from Daphne Guelker, who presented a thought-provoking paper on fisher definitions. Guelker’s research delved into the complexities surrounding defining a fisher, considering various factors such as occupation, location, and cultural context. Her findings emphasised the importance of adopting a holistic approach when formulating policies related to fisherman safety.

  • The paper can be found here

Furthermore, the event, attended by 65 participants from diverse countries worldwide, offered valuable insights into the often underestimated dimensions of fishing and its profound influence on human lives. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the Salesian Institute students, who graciously provided hospitality throughout the event, were greatly impressed by the knowledge shared by participants and benefitted from exceptional training opportunities alongside the team and the hotel staff.

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