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A chance to mussel in on aquaculture

SOUTH AFRICA - Fisherman Lindela Makhotyana is up at the crack of dawn. Breathing in the fresh salty ocean air, he engages the seamanship he has acquired, operating his mussel raft and ropes.

He is one of nine fishermen who have been given the opportunity to set up their own aquaculture mussel farm in Saldanha Bay, called Masiza Mussel Farm.

Aquaculture is the fastest-expanding animal food producing sector in the world. The fishing industry says if small concerns are to be set up by fishermen who can no longer make a living by going to sea, it is vital they are given a foot in the door by bigger players in aquaculture.

Makhotyana said he was grateful for the opportunity as work was scarce and he needed to provide for his family of six.

Blue Bay Aquafarm, a mussel and oyster-farming company, started the empowerment project four years ago with R1-million.

Vossie Pienaar, the company's CEO, said it had started small. Now nine mussel farmers are involved in the project, and each owns two mussel rafts which they bought from the company. Together they produce about 400 tons of mussels a year with turnover of R1,2-million.

Source: IOL

the Fish Site Editor

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