Creation of a new fisheries policy in South Africa: The development process and achievements
South Africa has a coastline over 3,000 km long and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles, constituting an area which contains a huge variety of fish species. The wholesale value of the fishing industry is worth R1.7 billion which represents 0.5% of South Africa’s GNP and 1.5% of the GRP of the Western Cape province. The fishing industry, which employs 27,000 people1, is mainly based in the Western Cape, and close to 90% of all South African landings are made in Cape harbours. The industry is extremely complex, and there is a great diversity in catching techniques, processing, marketing, capital investment, equipment and infrastructure. However, the industrialised hake sector dominates the industry. Recreational fishing is very popular in South Africa (approx. 500,000 sports fishermen) and although it is difficult to quantify its value, it contributes substantially to the South African economy. The non-consumptive uses of living marine resources e.g. whale viewing, seal and seabird watching and recreational diving are also of great economic importance, and there is a large potential for developing eco-tourism based on the country’s living marine resources. The historical development of the fishing industry needs to be reviewed in the light of the country’s political history where, previously, access to the resource had been removed from the traditional fishing communities and concentrated in the hands of a few large companies.
- Miscellaneous