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Aquaculture gets a big break

SOUTH AFRICA - Tax breaks, grants, credit and other available fiscal measures will be made available by government to stimulate the local marine aquaculture industry.

Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said in the Government Gazette that to foster local and international investor confidence, rights to undertake marine aquaculture activities will be issued on a long term (20 years) basis.

He noted that the contribution of capture fisheries to food security and employment has been in decline since the 1950s, partly due to over-exploitation of resource. For example, the size of hake stocks is now 10 per cent less of what was caught 50 years ago.

This trend has recently been exacerbated by shifts in the distribution of certain fish species. And the decline in catches has resulted in the closure of a number of fish processing establishments, mainly along the Cape’s West Coast.

He believes marine aquaculture presents an opportunity to substantially increase the diversity of economic activity in these coastal areas.

He notes a key principle is that the role of government is to facilitate and support this industry which will be driven by the private sector. The policy will be complemented by the Marine Aquaculture Development Plan (MADP), which will outline strategies for its practical implementation. Guidelines for the establishment and management of specific forms of marine aquaculture will also be developed.

Source: CapeBusinessNews