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Government to put R100m in fish farms

SOUTH AFRICA - Government is to invest R100-million next year in six marine fish farming projects, Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

"There are huge opportunities in marine aquaculture, which will not only reduce the pressure on wild stocks, but provide new economic opportunities," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the National Summit on Subsistence and Small-Scale Fisheries.

The summit, underway in Port Elizabeth, is aimed at garnering the views of fishing communities in respect of fishery policies and the management of marine resources.

Van Schalkwyk said global demand for fish products had increased in recent years, while the supply from "capture fisheries" had dropped.

"In contrast, aquaculture production has increased by an average of nine percent globally." South Africa imported more fish products than it exported.

"According to studies, on average 200 000 tons of fish, valued at R700-million, was imported per year during the period 2000 to 2004. In this context, aquaculture presents a good opportunity to diversify fish production to satisfy local demand, export opportunities, and the creation of new jobs," Schalkwyk said.

Various projects
The six aquaculture projects to be started in the 2008/09 financial year, included the establishment of:

  • an abalone farm in Gansbaai, Western Cape;

  • a finfish farm for silver cob or yellow tail in Saldanha Bay, Western Cape;

  • abalone "ranching" in Port Nolloth, Northern Cape;

  • a finfish farm in Qolora, Eastern Cape;

  • a finfish farm in Sokhulu, KwaZulu-Natal; and,

  • a State hatchery.

Source: Independentonline