The Green Marine Angling Programme (GMAP)

The Green Marine Angling Programme (GMAP)

South Africa
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The South African Shark Conservancy (SASC) has developed GMAP to empower unemployed subsistence fishermen from Hawston – a coastal community in the Western Cape of South Africa. The fishermen will be employed as shore angler guides for local and overseas tourists. Tag and release fishing will be encouraged along with biological data collection thereby allowing for a sustainable use of marine resources while contributing towards scientific data collection pertaining to local marine species for management purposes.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Hawston, a coastal community 15 minutes outside Hermanus (Western Cape, South Africa), was negatively impacted by the closure of the abalone (Haliotis midae) fishery in 2008. Although the fishery was reopened in 2010, licences were awarded to a small minority of fishermen, leaving many members of the community without an alternative income. The majority of previous rights holders have no skills training in any other areas which can provide a source of revenue. Abalone stocks have been negatively affected by illegal poaching as unemployed rights holders are forced to provide for their families by illegal poaching of abalone.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Hermanus – an eco-friendly destination – receives many foreign and national visitors who are keen anglers, but are unprepared for the angling conditions in the area. Being unfamiliar with angling localities, techniques and bait collection procedures for Hermanus and surrounds, these visitors are keen to wet a line, but remain generally unaware of angling ethics, including responsible bait preparation techniques, angling procedures and handling guidelines, and responsibilities under the Marine Living Resources Act (South Africa. 1998). It is proposed that, through the GMAP, unemployed subsistence fishermen will be given the opportunity to earn an income while being educated in fish biology and ecology, conservation issues; responsible bait collection and recreational fishing permit regulations. This sustainable, eco-aware message is transferred to visitors by the Guides themselves, instilling a greater sense of stewardship for the marine environment and promoting Hermanus as a leader in the development of alternative marine–based livelihoods. By expanding their knowledge and using their vast experience, the Guides will be able to take advantage of the expanding eco-tourism industry in South Africa, earning a sustainable income and becoming empowered members of their community. With further training and assistance, those guides identified as successful and diligent, can become watchdogs to report on illegal activities and educators within their respective communities. To promote compliance and monitoring within the angling community these guides will be trained in soft compliance.
About You
The South African Shark Conservancy
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



The South African Shark Conservancy

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

The South African Shark Conservancy

Organization Phone
Organization Address
Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, WC

Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

The SASC facility, situated in the Old Harbour in Hermanus, is open to the public during working hours (weekdays 8am – 4pm). Visitors are not charged an entrance fee, although donations are encouraged. Visitors are introduced to SASC’s research projects, educational and outreach programmes. Guests experience a guided tour of the Shark Laboratory where endemic shark species and rocky shore organisms are kept for educational purposes. Visitors are able to interact with the animals as their guide shares pertinent information regarding the animal’s biology, ecology and management. The SASC educational centre displays children’s art work from SASC education programmes. Educational displays include confiscated shark jaws and fins, literature and posters. The centre hosts public educational programmes during annual environmental awareness events such as the Hermanus Whale Festival, World Oceans Day and International Coastal Cleanup Week. SASC recognises the importance of the ecotourism industry and therefore developed the White Shark Training Programme (WSTP). The programme, designed to educate industry members about the biology, ecology and management of white sharks in SA. The WSTP encourages industry members to apply ethical handling practices and share accurate information regarding the sharks with tourists who visit their business.


On implementation of GMAP, the programme will be self sustaining. The fishing equipment will be housed at the SASC facility free of charge. SASC will not profit financially from the programme and all proceeds from the initiative will go directly to the employees of the programme. Included in the operational budget submitted to the Elgin Learning Foundation are financial allocation for uniforms, cellular telephones, identification cards and fishing tackle/equipment. Advertising and marketing of the programme are included in the proposal for funding. Community members will be interviewed to ensure that they are suitable candidates for the programme. The SASC webpage and Facebook page will host links to the GMAP. Without funding it will not be possible to carry out this initiative. Comprehensive training in species identification and biological data collection is vital. With the proper training the Guides will contribute significantly to the management of local marine species while earning a sustainable income.


Through sufficient training and marketing the programme has the potential to provide a sustainable income for approximately 20 members of the Hawston community on the outset of the programme. The potential of growth of the programme is being investigated. Community members will have the opportunity to increase their earnings through the sale of salted/dried/smoked fish and hosting visitors at their homes for authentic and traditional South African cooking and hospitality. Biological and ecological data collected by the Guides will contribute to the management of local marine species.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

The project is primarily reliant on funding to be successful. If successful, the programme can be implemented in other coastal villages in South Africa. The west coast of SA is in a similar situation with regard to the loss of subsistence fishing licences. In order to implement the programme in other areas, a facility for training and storage of gear will be located. Effective marketing targeted at local and foreign tour operators is essential to the success and growth of the programme. Guides will require evaluation through customer feedback. The programme -once in the self sustaining phase- will require a fulltime project manager responsible for customer feedback and ensuring legal and ethical practices are maintained. The project manager will collect biological data sheets and forward them to SASC who will ensure the correct management authority receives the information.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Without sufficient funding SASC will not be able to develop the programme. There is a potential for legal transgression by the Guides being offered money to “turn a blind eye” to illegal activity. There will be zero tolerance for illegal activities and the Guide will immediately lose his/her position as a Guide if found to be transgressing the law.

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?


What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

The South African Shark Conservancy

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Sponsorship and branding of equipment required for the programme will allow local businesses to advertise their business and reduce the cost involved in purchasing equipment for the programme. Good relationships with NGOs assist in the promotion of the programme. The financial support of the Elgin Learning Foundation (NGO) is vital to the programmes success as SASC is unable to fund such a venture. The SASC advisory board includes an environmental lawyer who assists with contracts, indemnity forms and any possible legal issues which may arise. A good relationship with fisheries compliance officers is essential to ensure that if transgressions in compliance are witnessed and reported by the Guides. A relationship with the South African marine resource governing body, Marine and Coastal Management is essential if the data collected by the Guides is to be used in the management of local marine species.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. The receipt of funding in order to develop course material, purchase equipment and finance marketing. Adequate marketing is vital to the success of the programme.
2. The participants in the programme on completion of training will require constant evaluation. This can be achieved through customer feedback forms. Transgressions by the Guides with regard to non compliance of the Marine Living Resources Act (South Africa 1998) and Recreation permit conditions relating to the Act will not be tolerated.
3. The programme will require that the Guides present tourists with a positive experience. The Guides will therefore need to be taught good customer care, be familiar with local fishing hotspots and how to deal with difficult customers.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The South African Shark Conservancy’s mission statement is: “Committed to conservation, sustainability and research”. When the abalone fishery was closed in 2008, SASC director Meaghen McCord sought alternative solutions to the crisis faced by the Hawston community. As members of the community turned to illegal poaching to put food on their tables, Ms McCord realized that the only way to resolve the issue of poaching and thereby preserving abalone stocks, was to seek alternative sustainable practices as a solution. The concept of angling guides is not new, but in SA it has never been developed in the Hawston community

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Meaghen McCord (Managing Director) founded the South African Shark Conservancy in 2007. With her background in Fisheries Science (MSc Rhodes University) and marine biology (BSc Dalhousie University) Ms McCord has become well known in the scientific community, both locally and abroad. Meag’s research interests include elasmobranch biology, fisheries management and sustainable resource utilisation.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Email from Changemakers

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

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