Ocean and Coastal Fishing and Fish Farming
The domestic fishery sector is divided into two sub-sectors: the wild capture fisheries, which include commercial, recreational and small-scale fisheries; and aquaculture, including mariculture, which is considered undeveloped but which is growing more rapidly than all other animal food-producing sectors. In the commercial fishing sector enterprises range from relatively small-scale Cape rock oyster fisheries, to the highly industrialised multi-million Rand deep-water trawl industry, which primarily targets hake. Together the commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors are valued at approximately R6.67bn annually and employ more than 9,600 people.
The Small-scale Fisheries Policy implemented in May 2013 allows small-scale fisheries the opportunity to have equal access to the country’s marine resources after having to compete for years with commercial fishing companies. In 2006 the allocation of medium to long-term fishing rights was finalised for a period of time in the hope of stabilising the various sectors, enabling companies to invest in commercial fishing with confidence and empowering previously disadvantaged fishermen. However, dissatisfaction from both sides concerning the allocation of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) from local stocks continues.
The report on South Africa’s fishing and fish farming industry describes current conditions, developments in the sector which is being threatened by poaching and overfishing, and factors that influence the success of fishing entities. Profiles for 18 companies, seven active in the commercial ocean fishing sector, and 11 in the sector, are provided. Included is one of the market leaders, Sea Harvest which in December 2017 reported it had entered into negotiations to acquire the entire business of Viking Fishing and a 51% majority stake in Viking Aquaculture. Also profiled is HIK Abalone Farm (Pty) Ltd, an aquaculture company that employs 170 people in the cultivation of 190kg of abalone every year for local and international markets.