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Fishing industry not foundering yet, says minister

CAPE TOWN - There is plenty of hope for the future of the fishing industry under certain conditions, despite suggestions to the contrary, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of the I&J Fin-Fish Hatchery at Gansbaai, he said a recent report on global marine biodiversity concludes that if current trends continue, there is a huge risk that fisheries will collapse worldwide by 2048.

The purported reasons for this are illegal and unsustainable fishing practices, and environmental effects such as climate change.

"However, this scenario will only play itself out if we do nothing differently. There is plenty of hope that the future of fisheries will look decisively brighter if we concentrate on five key principles," Van Schalkwyk said. These are:

  • sustainable use;

  • responsible allocations of fishing rights within a tight regulatory framework;

  • collaborative efforts underpinned by international agreements;

  • enforcement and compliance; and

  • developing alternatives, such as aquaculture.

The Gansbaai hatchery, the first in the country, is a serious effort to develop marine aquaculture.

In 2004, "capture-fisheries" and aquaculture supplied the world with about 106-million tonnes of food fish, the highest apparent per capita supply on record. Of this total, aquaculture accounted for 43%.

Source: Mail&Guardian

the Fish Site Editor

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