In 2002, Masifundise organised a few fishers from the Western Cape to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Gauteng. This is where the idea of forming a community- based fisher organisation was first discussed. Following further discussions with fishers, Coastal Links was formally established at a meeting in Langebaan in August 2004. At the time of its establishment, the following areas on the West Coast were represented, Doringbaai, Lambertsbay, St Helena Bay, Paternoster and Saldanha Bay. Areas on the South Coast included, Pearly Beach, Stanford, Gansbaai and Struisbaai. Founding members of Coastal Links included, Maria Hoffman – Pearly Beach, Charles Thomas- Struisbaai, Mr Frans Swartz- Arniston, Salie Cyster- Stanford, Godfrey Stevens-Bredasdorp, Issy Uithaler - Struisbaai, Anastatia Stols- Saldanha Bay, Naomi Cloete- Paternoster, Krabbel Slingers-
Paternoster, Norton Dowries- Langebaan, Solene Smith Langebaan, Cathy Thomas- St Helena Bay and Andre Cloete- Papendorp and Nico Waldeck- Lambertsbay.
With a vision to ensure sustainable livelihoods for previously disadvantaged fishers in the Western Cape, Coastal Links has grown in strength and stature enabling the network to undertake advocacy interventions in order to secure traditional fishing communities and coastal dwellers’ rights to marine resources and sustainable livelihood alternatives. Coastal Links comprises fisher associations; women’s groups; youth groups; sports and cultural groups; general community based organizations and individual community members. With a membership of over 1858, in 21 different coastal communities, Coastal Links is on the verge of creating a national foot print - soon it will be expanding into the Eastern Cape and Kwa-zulu Natal fishing communities.