Dr. Serge Raemaekers is the Co-founder and Project Director of ABALOBI, a non-profit organisation. The programme aims to build traditional fishers’ agency to partake in decisions around the state of local marine resources and help fishers empower themselves to connect directly with restaurants and consumers for the sale of their artisanal products.
Since 2007, he has been contributing research findings and ideas to the South African small-scale fisheries policy development and implementation process, engaging with systems thinking and fisheries governance practice with the aim to recommend governance models and management approaches that are more applicable to small-scale fishers‘ realities. Further, Dr. Raemaekers also has considerable consulting and training expertise in the field of small-scale fisheries, and he also works closely with fish workers and fisher leaders along the coast. Most of his work is centered on social learning processes with local small-scale fishers, with the aim to ensure that the communities’ knowledge; needs and vision are adequately captured and incorporated in any planning and decision-making processes. (Source: ACDI, UCT)
Dr. Raemaekers says he is inspired by the small-scale fishers of South Africa who risk their lives at sea to earn a livelihood, fight for their fishing rights and guiding the ABALOBI programme to improve the lives of coastal community members.
He’s excited to speak at TEDxCapeTown’s Salon event because it provides an opportunity to share ABALOBI’s journey, challenges and the collective need to rethink the way we manage our marine environment.
Dr. Raemaekers also hopes that the platform will help increase awareness about the plight of small-scale fishers in this country and offer the opportunity to connect and learn from other speakers and attendees.
We asked Dr Raemaekers a few fun questions to get to know him better. Read his responses below:
If you had a superpower what would it be?
Help implement the United Nations Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Yellowtail fish - I have no idea why - it's just such a fascinating species.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Which fictional character do you wish you could meet?
If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
You don't want to hear me sing!