Manager: Small-scale fisheries

Newlands, Cape Town

(2-year contract position based in Newlands, Cape Town)

WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. WWFs work is for nature, for you.

Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team, you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.


WWF South Africa is a solutions-driven organisation that constructively engages with government, companies and individuals to meet our goal of a sustainable future in which people live in harmony with nature. In over 40 years of conservation work in South Africa, WWF has increasingly played a leading role in changing the attitudes of people, business and government towards the environment which has resulted in tangible and lasting conservation outcomes.

The unsustainable harvest of the world’s ocean resources has led to the depletion, and in some cases collapse, of many of the world’s major fish stocks. While the outlook for threatened marine ecosystems remains bleak in the face of unsustainable fishing practices, those involved in the seafood industry are realising that by changing the way they conduct business now, the long-term viability of their industry can be ensured. Developing a sustainable seafood industry goes beyond focusing on the individual components of sustainable fishing. It requires a holistic approach, addressing all aspects along the chain of custody from the fisher’s hook all the way to the final product delivered to the consumer at their local fish shop or restaurant. The WWF Marine Portfolio is supported by three main pillars of work, namely Small-scale Fisheries, the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF-SASSI) linked to commercial fisheries, and Marine Protected Areas, all of which is underpinned by science.

The small-scale fishing sector is the most recent fishing sector recognised by law in South Africa, acknowledging community fisher traditions. The Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment is still in the process of rolling out the process. When completed there could be as many as 150 small-scale fishing communities recognised along the entire coastline of South Africa that will be given legal access to harvest a basket of nearshore marine species. This sector does not have formal governance structures in place and is plagued by poverty, food insecurity and high levels of unemployment. Data collection systems and enforcement are weak, and government support is limited. They are not linked to markets and risk of exploitation of fishers by unscrupulous marketers is high. Moreover, many of the nearshore species are depleted and is not adequate to address poverty alleviation, and climate change is forecasted to exacerbate the situation. As coastal fisher livelihoods are heavily dependent on marine resources this sector has the potential to be good stewards provided, they are given the right support. Failing to provide the necessary support could result in increased risk of severe over-exploitation of marine resources.

In order to achieve the goal of effective coastal community stewardship the socio-economic barriers would need to be unlocked through inclusive co-governance; enterprise development; and empowerment initiatives. WWF is piloting these initiatives in four coastal communities (3 in Kogelberg (Western Cape) and 1 in Hamburg (Eastern Cape)) through the BMZ and Flanders projects. Further initiatives to be expanded under the NORAD project. All the coastal community work in South Africa also contributes to WWF’s international initiative of Accelerated Coastal Community-Led Conservation, which seeks to scale out, deep and up the initiatives undertaken in six global seascapes.

The Small-scale Fisheries Manager will report directly to the Senior Manager of the Marine Portfolio and will be responsible for the overall management and implementation of all current and future small-scale fishery projects. This includes supervising of staff, reporting, managing budgets, engaging key stakeholders (including various government department) and engaging with WWF’s international and regional network.


The Small-scale Fisheries Manager will be responsible for the following actions:

  • Manage implementation of strategic intent of WWF-SA’s Small-scale Fisheries component of the Marine Portfolio:
  • Support and enable the strategic direction of Small-scale Fisheries component of the Marine Portfolio
  • Manage and co-ordinate the implementation of the Small-scale Fisheries
  • Manage Small-scale Fisheries staff, including KPA process for the NORAD project co-ordinator, Kogelberg Community Liaison Officer (BMZ), Kogelberg Community Liaison Officer (Flanders), and Hamburg Community Liaison Officer (Flanders).
  • Manage and report on budgets and overall financials for Small-scale Fisheries
  • In collaboration with co-ordinators and community liaison officers in the Marine Portfolio, engage with coastal community fishers to develop and implement inclusive co-governance, enterprise development, and empowerment
  • Oversee management of satellite offices (Kleinmond and Hamburg).
  • Develop, co-ordinate and maintain a Monitoring and Evaluation system for the small-scale Fisheries (with Marine Portfolio Manager)
  • Contribute to a strong partner-based approach to addressing conservation and development issues in small-scale fisheries:
  • Collaborate with staff in and outside of portfolio on areas that overlap with small-scale
  • Work closely with colleagues in the WWF ACCLC Initiative and in the Southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO)
  • Promote collaboration between small-scale fishers and government and other key stakeholder
  • Ensure WWF-SA continues to play a leadership role in addressing conservation and development issues in the Southern African fisheries:
  • Stay up to date with emerging knowledge, issues and policies relating to small-scale fisheries and market-related conservation initiatives, including climate
  • Ensure effective linkages with other WWF Programmes and other relevant organisations working in the
  • Perform further duties as specified by the Senior Manager: Marine Programme including inter alia:
  • Work with Marine communications coordinator on small-scale fisheries related communications activities including events, awareness materials, public queries, newsletters, website
  • When appropriate, act as a representative spokesperson for WWF-SA’s Sustainable Fisheries Programme work.
  • Contribute to fund-raising efforts to develop WWF’s marine


  • A post-graduate degree in marine/ environmental science or relevant management (Master’s degree is preferred.)

  • A minimum of 5 years management/ leadership experience

  • Demonstratable experience in managing different stakeholders would be advantageous, specifically experience in working with small-scale fishing communities or other communities

  • Experiencing in developing (community) projects and project

  • Good technical writing

  • Experience in managing and supervising

  • Articulate and a confident communicator in English (written and verbal) and another South African language with strong networking

  • Fundraising experience would be an advantage

  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office programmes

  • Self-motivated with strong administrative and project management skills

  • A passion for environmental and conservation issues, and an understanding of the connection between community-related societal issues and the environment

  • Must work well independently and have a positive attitude

  • Must be willing to travel both domestically and internationally if required

  • Driver’s license

Further information:

To apply please send a motivation letter highlighting your suitability to the role, an updated CV and contact details of three work-related referees to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact will only be made with shortlisted candidates

WWF seeks to promote diversity among its staff. Candidates who have not received a response within three weeks of the closing date are kindly requested to assume that their application has not been successful in this instance. WWF-SA reserves the right not to fill this position.

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