First fisher compensation agreements signed

First fisher compensation agreements signed in Palma-Sede

The process of signing compensation agreements with local fishers, intertidal collectors and divers impacted by Project nearshore and offshore construction activities in Tungue Bay started on the 9th of October 2020 in Quelimane, a neighborhood of Palma Sede.

Impacts and the basis of compensation

Depending on the place and the type of fishing practiced, fishing activities will be impacted in varied ways throughout the different phases of the Project. During the construction phase, impacts are associated with exclusion zones around construction sites and operational vessels, as well as activities such as dredging and pilling. During the operations phase, impacts are primarily associated with the establishment of a marine exclusion zone (MEZ) and marine restricted area (MRA) which will affect access to and use of proximate resources.

All impacted fishers, divers and collectors are eligible for some form of compensation. Compensation packages are determined by three factors:

  • Assets owned – the cost of the investment made by the boat and / or gear owner;
  • Impact – the severity of the impact of the Project’s activities in the area where they operate; and
  • Revenue – the share of revenues accruing from the catch or harvest, by the various participants in the activity, namely owners, skippers, crew members or just the revenue in case fishers, divers or collectors work individually.

The compensation values are calculated considering a given categorization of fishing units, as listed below:

  • motorized boats fishing with light attraction
  • motorized boats
  • planked boats propelled by sails or oars
  • dug-out canoes
  • fishermen on foot
  • intertidal collectors

Therefore, compensation agreements differ across categories of fishing units, but will be the same for equal participants of fishing units falling under the same category. It is important that each owner, skipper, crew member and individual fisher, diver and collector understand the basis  of her or his individual compensation package and agree with it, before signing the agreement.

The timing of compensation

Timing of compensation is related to the timing of construction activities and impacts. There are two compensation instances: one during construction and the other during operations. Fishers who are signing compensation agreements at the moment are those who are experiencing impacts associated with the nearshore and offshore Project construction activities.

The compensation package

The nature of compensation – which is both in cash (paid into a bank account) and in kind (a voucher scheme that allows buying fishing gear and / or hardware), is in itself a way of promoting the development and continuity of fishing activity in Tungue Bay while at the same time allowing investment to improve housing conditions of impacted households.

In addition to compensation, intertidal collectors, fishers and divers have access to a range of livelihood re-establishment and development programs that aims to:

  • Re-frame the affected population’s relationship to marine resources by enabling alternative access to other fishing areas;
  • Improve existing fishing practices (including more sustainable resource management) and introducing new ones; and
  • Improve and / or establish linkages to more rewarding markets (i.e. strengthening different aspects of the value chain).

Some of the planned interventions will produce open access benefits while others will be more individual in nature. Many of these initiatives are in a pilot phase, with some – such as the promotion of diversified and alternative ways of fishing – already rendering promising results. If proven feasible, the pilot programs will enter a second phase of wider dissemination and extension.

First day signing fisher compensation agreements

13 fishers signed compensation agreements on the first day, the 9th of October 2020. Agreements are an important step for fishers / intertidal collectors and the Project, as confirmed in the words of a member of the Community Fisheries Council of Palma (CCP): “We have been anticipating the signing of the first compensation agreement. We believe the process will contribute to the already positive coexistence between fishers and the Project.”

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