Fresh from our own waters


South Africa is among the global fishing nations which have identified the challenges within their fishing industry. With 22 commercial fisheries sectors and new fisheries being explored and experimented with, South Africa has two fisheries sector components.

Wild capture fisheries include three distinct components, commercial, recreational and subsistence  fisheries,  each  of  which  requires specific research and management interventions. The   aquaculture (fish farming) sector is considered underdeveloped and as a result, has been prioritised, due to declining wild stocks.

  • The Small-Scale Fisheries Policy [PDF] seeks to address imbalances of the past and ensure that small-scale fishers are accommodated and properly managed. For the first time, fishing rights will be allocated on a group, rather than an individual basis. The policy further aims to support investment in community entities to take joint responsibility for sustainably managing the fisheries resources and to address the depletion of critical fisheries stocks.
  • The department has entered into a service-level agreement with the South African Navy to manage its fleet of four patrol vessels and three research vessels for a year, while the department considers its various options regarding the long-term management of these vessels.