September 2003 | SASMIA Research Fund

To assist and promote marine and socio-economic research that will benefit the understanding of the life cycle of chokka squid, the management of this resource, and the industry.

Contents of this document:

  1. Preamble
  2. The origin of the SASMIA Research Fund
  3. Financial implications for the Department
  4. SASMIA research fund rules
  5. Changes to these rules

Contents of this document:

  1. Preamble

    The SASMIA Research Fund has existed since 1990. In 2000 both the SASMIA Research Fund Committee and the Department reviewed the operation of this Fund to ensure that it operated in accordance with proper financial procedures recognised by government. After consultation with the Director: Budget and Procurement (Mr R. Ackerman) and THE DEPARTMENT Provisioning section (Mrs S. Hendricks), it was resolved that it would be in the State’s best interest to maintain this fund, but that a formal agreement should exist between THE DEPARTMENT and SASMIA pertaining to the operation of the fund. This document executes this recommendation.
  2. The origin of the SASMIA Research Fund
    1. THE DEPARTMENT is mandated to undertake research into the South African squid fishery for resource management purposes. The normal intensity of operations by the commercial fishing fleet precludes certain research during the fishing season. Most fieldwork therefore can only be conducted during the 4 weeks closed fishing season (normally 25 October – 22 November) during which squid spawning usually reaches a peak. THE DEPARTMENT does not have suitable vessels for squid research, nor the expertise to find spawning squid, or the additional manpower to assist in catches.
    2. Moreover to assist THE DEPARTMENT, a large part of the research is undertaken in collaboration with Bay World (Port Elizabeth Museum), Rhodes University and the University of Port Elizabeth. This benefits THE DEPARTMENT by increasing capacity and defrays part of the research costs.
    3. Since 1990 the South African Squid Management and Industrial Association (SASMIA), a representative body for the industry, has undertaken to assist THE DEPARTMENT during the closed fishing season by arranging two commercial squid vessels and crew to work for the scientists for a period of 3 weeks. To cover the operational costs (approximately R 500 000 per vessel at present-day, 1998), THE DEPARTMENT has issued a special research (exemption) permit for each vessel that allowed a maximum catch of 10 tons of squid (per vessel). This is a sufficiently small quantity not to significantly affect spawning success. The catch is sold after the closed season and the tendered amount (see 2.4) is deposited into the SASMIA Research Fund. This has enabled research projects to be executed and sufficient biological samples to be collected, otherwise outside of THE DEPARTMENT’s capacity. In addition, this practice has generated funds to offset research costs, support student bursaries and manage this fund.
    4. To ensure a fair and equitable process of participation, SASMIA has set up a tender system for its fleet (see appendix B for details). This is independent of THE DEPARTMENT and is undertaken by an attorney resident in the Eastern Cape. The conditions state that the two vessels which offer the highest price per kilogram of squid, to be paid into the SASMIA Research Fund, will be awarded the work and they must be available to all squid scientists (THE DEPARTMENT and Universities) for the duration of the closed season. At the end of the closed season, the total amount tendered is paid into the research fund which is administered by SASMIA. Typically about R 300 000 (1997) is put into the SASMIA fund annually.
    5. At the beginning of each year, squid researchers are encouraged to apply for funding from the SASMIA Research Fund. Applications undergo a formal process (as stipulated in this document), similar to that used by most research funding agencies (e.g. NRF). The process is transparent and overseen by an independent (referee) scientist who has no vested interests in squid.
  3. Financial implications for the Department
    1. THE DEPARTMENT benefits financially since the cost of certain research is covered by this Fund.
    2. The issue of two special research permits by THE DEPARTMENT (free of charge) for the successfully tendered vessels to operate during the closed period and to catch a maximum of 10 tons of squid each, greatly benefits THE DEPARTMENT in the following way:
      • Provides vessels and crew for THE DEPARTMENT scientists worth about R 1 000 000 (1998)
      • Industry carries the risk of operational costs for the vessels
      • Provides fishing expertise upon which all the research during this period is dependent
      • Assists in the collection of biological samples
      • Generates research funds (~R300 000, 1997), some of which is used by THE DEPARTMENT scientists, the remainder by university scientists and student bursaries
  4. SASMIA Research Fund Rules
    1. Administration

      The SASMIA Research Fund will be overseen jointly by THE DEPARTMENT and SASMIA in the form of the SASMIA Research Committee. The account will be held in the name of SASMIA but will be audited annually (4.5), the report of which will be tabled at every AGM of SASMIA. A copy will be available for THE DEPARTMENT.
    2. Committee Membership
      • The SASMIA Research Committee shall consist of seven (7) members – the Chairman, another SASMIA Committee member, Treasurer and Secretary of SASMIA, two THE DEPARTMENT scientists, and a squid scientist from the Eastern Cape. An independent scientist will be co-opted to provide an unbiased assessment of research applications. The Chairman of SASMIA shall also be the Chairman of the Research Committee. The secretary and independent scientist will not be voting members.
      • The quorum is to be 4 persons, 2 SASMIA and 2 scientists.
      • Decisions will be by consensus, but if not reached there will be a vote. The Chairman will have the casting vote.
      • The scientific members shall be selected from nominations to THE DEPARTMENT Squid Working Group, from a vote taken during the last Squid Working Group meeting of each year (December). Nominated persons are not, however, required to be members of the Squid Working Group.
    3. Use of funds
      • A maximum of R22 000 per annum (year 2002) may be used by SASMIA for administrative purposes. This amount may be allowed to escalate by the current inflation rate, provided that the income to the fund also increases by at least that rate.
      • An annual financial statement for the SASMIA Research account must be made available to the Research Committee prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
      • It is not required to have approval from the scientific representation on the Research Committee for SASMIA administrative expenditure. In exceptional circumstances where the amount of R22 000 (year 2002) is to be exceeded, then approval must be obtained from the core Research Committee i.e. all voting members.
      • When approving funds for projects during a given year, at least 30% of the available fund (i.e. total fund minus the SASMIA administration amount (R 22 000 in year 2002)) must be held back by the Research Committee in order to facilitate ad hoc funding which may arise during the remainder of the year.
      • Any member of the Research Committee shall have the right to information concerning the fund (including administrative expenses) at any time, and the treasurer shall furnish such information if requested to do so, verbally or otherwise, within a period of one week.
      • No roll-over of funds will be allowed at the end of any financial year (1 January). Unspent funds will be absorbed back into the Fund. Affected projects not executed will be required to re-apply as a new project.
      • Funds granted to an approved project can only be spent as set out in the project’s budget. Motivation is to be submitted to the Research Committee in cases where a deviation from the approved budget is necessary. This must be done prior to expenditure.
      • Projects have a maximum funding period of 3 years.
      • Travel Funds
        • A maximum of 2 scientists and 2 industrial participants may apply per annum.
        • Funds may be requested for travel and subsistence to attend conferences/workshops/symposia/collaboration, however, this is subject to a maximum amount of 50% of the total cost or a maximum of R 10 000 per applicant where expenses exceed R 20 000. (These amounts will be reviewed annually).
        • Scientists applications will only be supported if a poster or oral is to be presented at the forum. Prove is to be submitted i.e. abstract.
        • Such meetings must be of a specialist nature i.e. squid.
        • Requests must be submitted as a separate application highlighting all costs for the trip, the other co-funder, and clearly point out the benefits to SASMIA or the industry of the trip.
        • A report not longer than 1 page must be submitted to the SASMIA Research Committee within 6 weeks of return. This will be placed on the SASMIA website.
        • In exceptional circumstances full funding can be granted when all other avenues of funding have been exhausted. These need to be indicated in the motivation.
    4. Eligibility of applications
      • Applications from any organization or a bona fide researcher from a recognized research institution will be considered, provided that the research is aimed at improving the management of the chokka squid resource, and deemed by the Research Committee to be directly or indirectly beneficial to its sustainable utilization.
      • Any new applications must be original, i.e. does not duplicate any earlier research, or is intended to resolve issues not adequately explored in earlier investigations.
    5. Procedure for the submission, evaluation and approval of research projects
      • Applications must be submitted to the chairperson of the Squid Working Group by September. Applications must be in the required format stating details of the project title, whether or not it is an ongoing project, researchers involved, objectives, work plan, a list of expected outputs from the project and a detailed breakdown of costs (including specified manpower and running costs). Applications must indicate when payments (i.e. dates) will be required. Where possible a schedule of part payments must be supplied.
        Both Appendix A (Application form) and Appendix D must be completed
      • Project applications will be put before the Squid Working Group in September for approval and prioritization, taking into account the prioritization of officially sanctioned THE DEPARTMENT projects.
      • Project applications must then be sent to the Research Director of MCM for comments, which will then be sent onto the Chairman of the SASMIA Research Fund by the 10th of October.
      • All submitted applications will then be forwarded together with the Squid Working Group comments, to the independent scientist and members of the Research Committee.
      • Projects that do not follow this procedure will not be considered for funding.
      • The SASMIA Research Committee will endeavour to meet in the 1st week of the closed season, to consider the comments received from the Squid Working Group and those of the independent scientist. Once approved, the Chairman of the Research Committee will inform the successful project leaders in writing. Payments will be made only according to the given schedule in the application. Where possible funds are to remain in the Research Fund until required.
      • Successful projects will be required to submit written annual progress reports, to be submitted to the chairman of the Squid Working Group by September each year. Project leaders who fail to comply with this requirement will not be allowed to apply for further funding in the next financial year. The Research Committee will evaluate whether progress has been satisfactory, and is empowered to recommend discontinuation of funding if satisfactory progress is not achieved.
      • It is recommended that project funds be paid through the Bay World (Port Elizabeth Museum) Administration, which will ensure correct accounting principles are maintained. However, other recognised research administrations will be considered. Where expenses are few, it will also be possible to directly submit invoices to the treasurer of SASMIA for payment.
      • All projects are to be supported by an annual financial statement. The costs of the financial statement and reasonable administration costs may be included in the project budget. These financial statements are to be submitted with the written annual progress report in September.
      • Projects that promote affirmative action in terms of involvement with Historically Black Universities (HBUs), include black students and Black Empowerment Enterprises (BEEs) will be strongly supported.
      • Ad hoc applications:
        • Under normal circumstances, no new projects will be considered for ad hoc funding unless specifically approved by the Research Committee. Only ad hoc requests relating to on-going projects will be considered.
        • Ad hoc requests must be kept to a minimum and must only be used in emergencies. If in the opinion of the Research Committee, such requests are a result of poor planning, they will not be considered.
        • Ad hoc requests must follow the procedure of new applications. At least two weeks notice may be required for payments in terms of ad hoc funding.
  5. Changes to these rules
    1. These rules will be reviewed and amended on an annual basis at the SASMIA Research Committee meeting.
    2. New rules introduced at the request of the SASMIA Research Committee will be recorded in red until adopted at the next annual meeting.