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  1. Characteristics, structure and resources of the sector
    1. Summary
    2. History and general overview
    3. Farming systems distribution and characteristics
    4. Cultured species
    5. Practices/systems of culture
  2. Sector performance
    1. Production
    2. Market and trade
    3. Contribution to the economy
  3. Promotion and management of the sector
    1. The institutional framework
    2. The governing regulations
    3. Applied research, education and training
  1. Trends, issues and development
    1. References
      1. Bibliography
      2. Related links
    Characteristics, structure and resources of the sector
    South Africa has suitable environmental conditions for aquaculture development and opportunities for commercial production of various cultured species. The local aquaculture sector has performed below its potential and remains a minor contributor to national fishery products and the country’s GDP. However, more focus is being placed on the major constraints that have been limited to aquaculture growth. Constraints such as access to water and land, access to technology, high transaction costs, lack of supporting policies and legislation, and barriers to marketing are currently being addressed by the administrative authorities, namely the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

    In 2009 and 2010, South Africa had undergone some changes with regard to aquaculture management and administration. Previously, the sector was managed by two Government Departments, namely the former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and the Department of Agriculture (DoA) responsible for marine and freshwater aquaculture, respectively. The two Departments were restructured, forming one leading agent for the development and management of aquaculture in South Africa, now called the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). The total marine aquaculture production (excluding seaweed) in 2011 was 1 883 tonnes, with an estimated value of 379 million Rands. The abalone subsector was the highest contributor to total production making up 55 percent of the total production, followed by mussels with 35.1 percent, oysters with 14.3 percent and finfish with 0.4 percent. The total freshwater aquaculture production was 2 921 tonnes for 2011. Trout contributed 49 percent of the total production, followed by ornamentals, koi carp, catfish and tilapia which contributed 23, 20, 5 and 3 percent, respectively.
    History and general overview
    Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farming is the oldest aquaculture subsector in South Africa. According to Hecht and Britz (1990), the first batch of seed was imported in 1896 and the first dry pelleted feeds in 1956. The major areas of production of trout occur in the Western Cape and Mapumalanga regions and in 2010 contributed to the total aquaculture production, approximately 950 tonnes. With regards to marine aquaculture, the oldest form of marine aquaculture is oyster farming, which was initiated in 1673 and 1676 when attempts to culture the indigenous species were made. It was only in 1948 when the first commercial operation proved success. By far, the largest marine aquaculture subsector in South Africa is abalone (Haliotis midae). Abalone farming initiated in South Africa in the early 1990s and included a number of small operators and by 1997 the first 10 tonnes were produced. Abalone production occurs in the Western Cape are with the majority of farms situated in the Overberg region.
    Farming systems distribution and characteristics
    Freshwater/brackish water aquaculture

    Trout aquaculture in South Africa is limited by the high temperatures that are widespread throughout the subcontinent, as well as the lack of suitable water for culture. Trout requires temperatures below 18 ºC which therefore, restrict the sites to small streams in the higher altitude catchments. As a result, much of the national trout culture is concentrated around the foot of the Drakensburg and Midlands areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the higher regions in Mpumalanga and the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces.

    The optimal temperatures for Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) culture falls between 28 and 30 ºC, therefore, the most thermally efficient areas to culture tilapia would be the areas that experience warm summers and warm winters such as the Northern Province, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern KwaZulu-Natal. The majority of tilapia farms are located in the tropical regions of the country where high temperatures are prominent throughout the year.

    North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) may be cultured throughout most lowland areas of South Africa with the current technology used. However, the optimal temperature for culturing is 28 ºC, therefore, the most efficient areas would be the Northern Province, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern KwaZulu-Natal, which experience warm summers and relatively warm winters.

    Carp and Koi Carp
    Environmental conditions for carp culture is good throughout much of the lowland area of South Africa, However, sites require access to suitable water.

    Marron crayfish
    Marron crayfish (Cherax tenuimanus) is a cold water species, and therefore, the industry is based in the Western Cape where temperatures are much lower.

    Ornamental freshwater fish
    Using current technology, ornamental freshwater fish can be farmed in all parts of South Africa.

    Freshwater farms operating in South Africa
    Common name Scientific name No of farms Province
    North African catfish  Clarias gariepinus 13 all provinces except FS
    Nile crocodile  Crocodylus niloticus 7 GP, KZN, LP, NW
    Common carp  Cyprinus carpio 6 FS, GP, WP
    Marron Crayfish  Cherax tenuimanus 3 WP, LP
    Ornamentals (Multiple) 19 all provinces
    MozambiqueTilapia  Oreochromis mossambicus 28 EC, GP, KZN, LP, MP, WC
    Trouts  Oncorhynchus mykiss & Salmo trutta 52 EC, FS, GP, KZN, MP, NP, WC
    DAFF 2012 records
    Eastern Cape (EC), Free State (FS), Gauteng (GP), Kwazulu Natal (KZN), Limpopo (LP), Mpumalanga (MP), North West Province (NW), Northern Cape (NC), Western Cape (WC)

    Marine aquaculture

    The majority of abalone farms for the species Haliotis midae in South Africa are clustered in the Overberg region; however, there have been expanded to the South and West Coasts. Physiologically, optimal water temperatures for Haliotis midae range between 12-20 °C. As a result, abalone farms do not operate further east of the Kei River on the Eastern Cape coastline where seawater temperatures are predominantly above optimum.

    The farming of oysters such as Crassostrea gigas is possible throughout the Northern and Western Cape provinces. In the Eastern Cape, the most westerly farm occurs in Hamburg. While the high energy coastline of the coast prohibits sea based farming, some estuaries are considered to have potential for oyster farming.

    At present, mussel farming for Mytilus galloprovincialis, Perna perna and Choromytilus meridionalis is restricted to only the Saldahna Bay in the Western Cape, primarily due to the large shelter bay area. South Africa’s coastline suggests that it can only be viably cultured in sheltered coastlines such as Saldahna Bay (Western Cape), St Helena Bay (Western Cape) and Algoa Bay, in Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape).

    In the past ambient temperatures have limited extensive prawn pond culture for species Penaeus indicus, Penaeus monodon and Penaeus vannamei to the northern coats of KwaZulu-Natal; however there has been a movement towards growing marine prawns in technological advanced onshore recirculation systems

    Gracilaria verrucosa is found naturally along the entire Western Cape and the East along the Southern Cape coastline as far as East London. Due to the high energy coastline of South Africa, this species can only be cultured within sheltered bays (i.e. Saldahna Bay, St. Helena Bay and Algoa Bay in Port Elizabeth) and inshore based operations using waste water from other aquaculture activities (i.e. abalone farms).

    Ulva spp. occurs along the entire coast of South Africa, usually attached by a disk shaped holdfast; a free floating form is also present in sheltered bays. Ulva are tolerant of a wide range of temperature and salinity changes.

    Marine finfish
    There are currently four farms involved in marine finfish aquaculture; three of these are based in the Eastern Cape (East London) and one in the Western Cape. Recently, South Africa has seen a shift in technology usage and at present there are commercial scale finfish cages and pond operations running.

    Ornamental marine species
    The marine ornamental industry is relatively small in South Africa due to competition with international importers and wild collectors. However, current research is being conducted by universities into the breeding and rearing of marine ornamental fish and live coral species. However, the industry still remains quite fragmented as sales are mainly made to local pet stores where required. Currently, there is only one company dealing with the intensive breeding of marine ornamental species and it is situated in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Marine farms operating in South Africa
    common name Scientific name Number of farms Provinces
    Perlemoen abalone  Haliotis midae 14 (1) EC, NC, WC
    Mussels  Mytilus galloprovincialis, Choromytilus meridionalis, Perna perna 3 WC
    Oysters  Crassostrea gigas, Striostrea margaritacea, Pinctada capensis 8 (2) EC, WC
    Finfishes  Argyrosomus japonicus, Seriola lalandii, Pomadasys commersonnii (experimental), Atractoscion aequidens 4 EC, WC
    Seaweeds Gracilaria verrucosa, Ulva spp. 3 EC, WC
    Ornamentals  Amphiprion ocellaris, Premnas biaculeatus, Amphiprion allardi, Amphiprion frenatus, Amphiprion percula, Amphiprion clarkii, Amphiprion perdarion, Pterapagon kaudneri, Sphaeramia nematoptera, Coryphopterus personatus, Pomacentrus coelestis, Amphiprion polymnus, Calloplesiops altivelis, Lysmata grabhami, Artemia,Patiella exigua 1 KZN
    DAFF records 2012
    Eastern Cape (EC), Kwazulu Natal (KZN), Northern Cape (NC), Western Cape (WC)
    Cultured species
    The marine species cultured in South Africa are: abalone (Haliotis midae), oysters (Crassostrea gigas), mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis and Choromytilus meridionalis) and finfish (Argyrosoumus japonicus, and Seriola lalandi). Other species included: seaweed, both Ulva spp. and Gracilaria spp. Freshwater species cultured in South Africa are: trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta), tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus), North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), carps (Cyprinus carpio and Ctenopharyngodon idellus), South African mullet (Liza richardsonii), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), marron crayfish (Cherax tenuimanus), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and a number of ornamental species. Trout is the most cultured freshwater species in South Africa, followed by ornamental species.
    Practices/systems of culture
    The aquaculture industry in South Africa consists of a variety of farmed species which require specific aquaculture practices. Below is a description of the main culture practices for each species.

    Freshwater/brackish water aquaculture

    The technology used for trout culture in South Africa is not well developed, but it is based on cultivating trout in raceway, pond and cages. However, industry mainly uses recirculation systems that in combination with thermal regulation have led to more successful production.

    Mozambique tilapia
    Currently, there are no large scale intensive farms operating in South Africa and the majority of the small farms employ traditional cage and pond culture. The industry has however, moved to a more improved form of culture, namely farming tilapia in green houses which help regulate water temperatures increasing the growth rates of fish.

    North African catfish
    The technology for catfish culture in South Africa is well developed, and the majority of farmers utilize high density pond and raceway culture methods. Previously, a number of farmers used high density tank culture.

    Carp and koi carp
    The larger carp operators employ a number of different methods for culturing carp, namely pond/tank/raceway based systems, while the smaller operators mainly use a small tank system.

    Marron freshwater crayfish
    Production of marron crayfish is primary based on tank culture for the juvenile phase of production, and semi-intensive pond culture for the grow-out phase of production.

    Ornamental fish
    The ornamental fish farmers employ a variety of culture practices which vary between semi-intensive flow through systems using tunnel and grow-out ponds, to super-intensive recirculating systems using glass tanks, tunnels and grow-out ponds.

    Marine aquaculture

    In South Africa, abalones are cultivated mainly in onshore land-based tank systems. These land-based farms are situated very close to the shoreline where they have access to large quantities of seawater that is pumped ashore and pre-treated to improve water quality. In most cases, effluent (i.e. wastewater) is released directly into the environment. In certain instances, water is partially recirculated (i.e. recycled) via appropriate filtration and water treatment systems in place on the farm. This practice has the advantage that the farm can be partially isolated from the environment during adverse conditions such as the presence of harmful algal blooms (i.e. toxic red tides). Re-circulation systems also allow to control water conditions to improve growth and survival. Experimental cage farming of abalone, which involves the stocking of submersible cages suspended off the seabed and feeding with kelp, has been initiated on a small scale in the Western Cape. It is regarded as a more economical or cheaper means for cultivating abalone as it reduces the cost of infrastructure and development required for land-based operations. Other methods of cultivating abalone involve abalone ranching, which is the release of hatchery reared juvenile abalone into the wild within an allocated area and when the abalone reach market size they are harvested by the permit holder.

    Oysters are generally grown out to market size in submerged plastic mesh or nylon net cages (e.g. oyster lanterns) suspended from longlines. Juveniles may be reared on intertidal oyster racks prior to stocking out at sea off-bottom. Intertidal cultivation reduces the incidence of infestation with Polydora, a shell boring polychaete worm that damages the shell of the oyster and reduces its market value. Oysters are filter feeders that feed on naturally occurring zooplankton and micro algae in the water column. Production is therefore, largely influenced by natural environmental conditions that influence food availability and growth rates.

    The method of culturing mussels involves stocking mesh bags with juvenile seed collected from natural settlement onto ropes, which hang off a floating wooden raft or mainline known as a longline. Like oysters, mussels are filter feeders; therefore, production is largely influenced by natural environmental conditions.

    In South Africa, there has been a movement towards growing marine prawns in technologically advanced onshore re-circulation systems. Water is pumped ashore into large tank systems within hydroponic tunnels that enable the control of temperature and water quality and in addition reduce the risks associated with environmental variability.

    Marine finfish
    Juvenile fish produced through induced spawning are reared in intensive re-circulation systems. After this initial phase, fish are moved either to offshore sea cages or large land based tank systems for further grow-out. Cage culture is still under development in South Africa largely because of our high-energy coastline which requires additional technological considerations. However, there has been a movement towards growing marine fish species such as dusky kob in saline earth ponds as it is a robust species that can tolerate low salinities.

    Ornamental marine species
    Ornamental marine species are cultivated in highly intensive systems, which include coral propagation banks, fish rearing tanks, grow out tanks, display tanks and quarantine tanks.
    Sector performance
    The graph below shows total aquaculture production in South Africa according to FAO statistics:

    Market and trade
    Freshwater/Brackish water aquaculture

    South Africa is not a traditional fish eating nation and there is not a strong fishing tradition amongst most of South Africa’s indigenous people. Consequently, demand and price for freshwater species such as tilapia and catfish is low, making freshwater aquaculture in South Africa generally non-viable. An exception is the introduced trout species which has an excellent flesh quality (majority of the product sold smoked) and is a good recreational angling species. The local market for large scale freshwater aquaculture products is mainly restricted to trout at present for which local production has been relatively stable over the last few years. The stability of trout in the market has however, made it difficult for other species to establish themselves, such as tilapia, catfish (±R20/kg). The marron crayfish production in South Africa is growing and is sold into the up market restaurant trade. The product sells for approximately R190/kg into this limited but profitable niche market.

    Marine aquaculture

    Due to the growing shortage of traditional local fishery products, namely hake and other line fish products such as kob and yellowtail, it has seen as an opportunity for the sale of marine aquaculture fish products. The South African costumers have become more aware of the growing range of seafood products prepared in acceptable dishes at affordable prices. The local market for mussels is sensitive to price and not quality conscious, thus, the local industry competes against lower grade mussels imported from New Zealand. Local producers do not believe they can be competitive in the export market due to the large scale and lower cost production in major mussel producing countries such as Chile and New Zealand. The strategy is to therefore, win over the local market. Mussels are currently sold for R12 per kg depending on where they are sold.

    Abalone is a traditional product exclusively for export due to its high value (current value of over R 355 million per annum) and demand in Asia. Cultured South African abalone is now being marketed locally in upmarket restaurants in small volumes which are a small but steady industry. Oysters are marketed both for the local and export market and the majority of oyster producers market their products locally, with a few exporting to Hong Kong.
    Contribution to the economy
    Globally, marine aquaculture is fast becoming recognized as a priority sector. Considering the major contribution of this sector to the economy of other countries, South Africa needs to ensure that this sector grows to its significant potential. Currently, marine aquaculture contributes to the 0.029 percent of South African GDP (freshwater aquaculture contribution not confirmed at present). The growth of the South Africa aquaculture industry has the potential to contribute significantly to the economic activity, poverty reduction, empowerment, employment and the sustainable use of coastal and inland resources to the benefit of local communities.
    Promotion and management of the sector
    The institutional framework
    The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries through the Directorate Aquaculture and Economic Development is responsible for the management, regulation and development of the aquaculture sector in South Africa.

    The main functions are as follows:
    • Develop and implement aquaculture legislation.
    • Regulation of the aquaculture sector.
    • Manage and promote aquaculture activities.
    • Identify suitable development nodes/opportunities.
    • Identify suitable socio-economic opportunities within the aquaculture sector.
    • Monitor socio-economic impact of aquaculture initiatives.
    • Provide support to socio-economic initiatives within the aquaculture sector.
    • Integrate activities and role players.
    • Provide strategic guidance to partnerships within the aquaculture sector.
    • Development of operation permit conditions.
    • Aquaculture Research.
    • Information – all production species / animal improvement.
    • Advice – all production species / animal improvement.
    Overview of Directorates involved in Aquaculture management and research

    Prior to 2009, management of marine and freshwater aquaculture on a national level resided within two government departments i.e. the former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and Department of Agriculture (DoA), respectively. After restructuring of the government departments, the DAFF was identified as a lead government department for the development and management of both marine and freshwater aquaculture. This decision prompted alignment of programmes to ensure that both marine and freshwater aquaculture is managed as a single sector i.e. aquaculture. Three units within DAFF were established to solely manage the sector, i.e. Aquaculture Research and Development; Aquaculture Technical Services; and Sustainable Aquaculture Management.

    South Africa’s aquaculture industry is well prepared in terms of its institutions and programmes to comply with international product health standards. South Africa does not currently export shellfish products to the EU (European Union), however, the South African Shell fish monitoring programme has been set up under supervision of the South African Bureau (SABS) which will form an opening to EU certification of shellfish exports.


    The South African Bureau (SABS) is accredited as the competent authority to audit the application of standards for export of products to the EU and other countries. These standards are mainly the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and ISO standards. The SABS are also currently involved with the issuing of “health certificates” for products such as abalone which are exported to Asian countries.

    HACCP and ISO standards

    As mentioned above, the SABS are responsible for monitoring and auditing the applications of the HACCP standard which guarantees the health of food products through the whole food production process from the “farm to fork”. In the case of aquaculture, the SABS certifies live, fresh, frozen and canned products and the HACCP process includes the entire production process from the live production tank/cage to the processing plant to the buyer.

    The SABS has negotiated an auditable aquaculture CODEX of onfarm practices acceptable to the EU which it uses for the application of HACCP in aquaculture. The SABS makes use of agents such as DAFF and other state veterinarians (Amanzi Biosecurity) to provide guarantees in respect of specialized analyses such as the monitoring of shellfish toxins and anti-biotic residues in fish.

    Currently, no farms subscribe to ISO standards, in particular the ISO 14000 standard for environmental sustainability; however, the aquaculture CODEX covers most aspects for environmental sustainability of aquaculture.

    The South African Molluscan Shellfish Monitoring and Control Programme

    The EU ban on South African shellfish (mussels, oysters and abalone) was imposed because South Africa did not have an EU approved shellfish monitoring programme. This prompted the establishment of the “South African Molluscan Shellfish Monitoring and Control Programme”. The South African Molluscan Shellfish Monitoring and Control Programme provides the requirements that farms cultivating molluscan shellfish (e.g. mussels, oysters and abalone) have to meet, to promote food safety for human consumption in both local and international markets. The programme objective is to manage and minimize the risk of shellfish poisoning through consumption of contaminated cultured molluscan shellfish. This is established through monitoring compliance with regards to testing for microbiological quality, toxic and hazardous substances and marine biotoxins in cultured shellfish.

    Aquaculture sector associations and working groups

    Within South Africa, there are a number of associations and working groups that deal with specific issues related to the cultured species. These associations are privately run and bring forward matters and issues that need to be addressed by the main governing bodies (i.e. DAFF). The forums include the Marine Aquaculture Working Group (MAWG), the Aquaculture Intergovernmental Forum (AIF), and the Marine Aquaculture Industry Liaison (MAIL).

    Beyond the overarching aquaculture sector association (Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa AASA), the subsector associations are:
    • Catfish South Africa.
    • Mpumalanga Trout Forum (MTF).
    • Mussel and Oyster Forum.
    • South African Koi Traders Association (SAKTA).
    • Western Cape Trout Association (WCTA).
    • Marine Finfish Farmers Association of SA (MFFASA).
    • Ornamental Fish Producers.
    The governing regulations
    The primary legislation governing marine aquaculture in South Africa is the Marine Living Resource Act No. 18 of 1998 which is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Department of Environmental Affairs (DAFF and DEA, Oceans and Coasts). Other legislations relevant to the sector includes:

    Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    • Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act No. 18 of 1998).
    • Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, 1947 (Act No. 36 of 1947).
    • The Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984).
    • The Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997 (Act No. 15 of 1997).
    • The Animal Improvement Act, 1998 (Act No. 62 of 1998).
    • Animals Protection Act (Act No 71 of 1962).
    • Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act No. 43 of 1983).
    • Agricultural Pests Act, 1983 (Act No. 36 of 1983).
    • Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No. 35 of 1984).
    • Animal Improvement Act, 1998 (Act No. 62 of 1998).
    • The Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997 (Act No.15 of 1997), (GMO Amendment Bill).
    Department of Environmental Affairs
    • The Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).
    • The National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998).
    • The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).
    • The National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No. 10 of 2003).
    • The National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (Act No. 24 of 2008).
    • The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008).
    • The Sea Birds and Seals Protection Act, 1973 (Act No. 46 of 1973).
    • The Seashore Act, 1935 (Act No. 21 of 1935).
    Department of Health
    • The Health Act, 1977 (Act No. 63 of 1977).
    • The Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965).
    • The Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972).
    The Department of Water Affairs
    • The Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997).
    • The National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998).
    The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications
    • The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No. 5 of 2008).
    The South African Bureau of Standards
    • Standards Act, 2008 (Act No. 8 of 2008).
    The Department of Agriculture’s, Forestry and Fisheries framework links to the Animal Improvement Act, 1998 (Act 62 of 1998), Animals Protection Act and the Performing Animals Protection Act.
    Applied research, education and training
    Aquaculture is a technology driven sector and requires diverse scientific input from a number of disciplines (nutrition, physiology, genetics, animal health and disease etc.) to improve growth and production in the industry. The Department has access to available facilities at its Seapoint Research Aquarium in Bantry Bay, Cape Town (Western Cape) where most of the Department’s marine aquaculture research is being conducted.

    The Aquaculture Research and Technology Development Programme (ARTDP) is currently being developed to provide specific guidance on Aquaculture Research and technology development in the country. The programme identifies key focus areas to ensure coordinated aquaculture research that contributes to industry growth, diversification, competitiveness and sustainable production. The programme will focus on the creation and development of new knowledge, technology, infrastructure and human capital. The purpose of the ARTDP is also to guide other government departments, research institutions, funding agencies and the private sector on aquaculture research focus areas in order to channel resources.

    There are a number of universities in South Africa that offer Degrees and Diplomas in aquaculture, these universities are:
    • Stellenbosch University: Department of Animal Science – Stellenbosch University offer a Bachelor of Science degree (Bsc Agric) with majors in Aquaculture and Conservation or Aquaculture and Animal Science. The Department of genetics (Division of Aquaculture) at Stellenbosch University also offers short modules and training in aquaculture. (www.sun.ac.za).
    • Rhodes University: Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science – Rhodes University offers undergraduate and postgraduate course in aquaculture. An aquaculture module is offered at Rhodes University if one majors in Ichthyology an fisheries Science within the undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree.(www.ru.ac.za).
    • University of Cape Town: Botany and Zoology Departments – University of the Cape Town provides a post graduate course in aquaculture.(www.uct.ac.za).
    • University of the Western Cape: Botany and Zoology Departments – University offers post graduate courses in aquaculture. (www.uwc.ac.za).
    • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Microbiology Department – offers post graduate courses in microbiological aspects related to aquaculture. (www.ukzn.ac.za).
    • University of the Free State – offers undergraduate courses as part of freshwater ecology and post graduate courses specializing in aquatic parasitology. (www.ufs.ac.za).
    • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Zoology Department – offers undergraduate courses as part of Aquatic Ecology and Applied Aquatic Science. (www.nmmu.ac.za).
    • University of Limpopo Science Faculty, Aquaculture Research Unit – offers aquaculture courses at a postgraduate level, focusing on freshwater finfish. (www.ul.ac.za).
    • University of Zululand Zoology Department – offers courses with aquaculture components at undergraduate and postgraduate level. (www.uzulu.ac.za).
    • Cape Peninsula University of Technology Department of Biodiversity and Conservation – offers courses with aquaculture components at undergraduate and postgraduate level. (www.cput.ac.za).
    Short courses and training are also available in South Africa, however, not many are accredited for. This includes:
    • Aquaculture innovations – practical and theoretical courses.
    • WESGRO – beginners and advanced export training courses.
    • Agri Academy – provides various export related courses and HACCP training.
    • Stellenbosch University with collaboration with Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center – provides a 3-day course in Stellenbosch.
    • Agri-Seta – offer general skills development and training in aquaculture, and are currently developing specific unit standards for key aquaculture skills i.e. hatchery skills, grow-out operations, farm management and project management skills etc.
    • Rhodes University – has recently initiated short courses in aquaculture for agriculture extension officers and veterinarians with the support from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
    Trends, issues and development
    In the past, growth of marine aquaculture in South Africa has been limited due to a number of reasons, namely:
    • The high energy coastline of South Africa (strong currents and wave action).
    • Limited number of naturally protected sites.
    • A coastal strip that is relatively pristine, highly sort after such that marine aquaculture competes with other activities such as real estate, tourism etc.
    • Reluctance of financial institutions to lend money to potential farmers.
    • Limited human resources in aquaculture research, management, technical and advisory services.
    • Complicated authorization procedures.
    The former Department of Environmental Affair and Tourism developed the Marine Aquaculture Policy (gazetted 2007), DAFF is currently the governmental agency that promotes and develops a sustainable and global competitive aquaculture industry in South Africa. The growth of aquaculture industry will contribute significantly to job creation, poverty reduction, empowerment, diverse ownership, economic activity, the sustainable use of coastal resources to the benefit of coastal communities and ultimately put South Africa on the map in terms of marine aquaculture.

    The policy objectives are:
    • To create an enabling environment that will promote the growth of aquaculture in South Africa.
    • To promote transformation and broader participation in the aquaculture industry.
    • To support and develop regulatory and management mechanisms.
    • To expand the resource base from the few species currently being farmed to a more diverse array of species.
    FAO publications related to aquaculture for South Africa.
    South Africa’s Aquaculture Annual Report 2011.
    South Africa’s Aquaculture Annual Report 2012.
    Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Government Gazette (7 September 2007) – Publication of Policy for the Development of a Sustainable Marine Aquaculture Sector in South Africa.
    Department of Trade and Industry (Pty) Ltd (July 2006) – A Study on the Status of Aquaculture Production and Trade in South Africa Volume 1, industry Status and Diagnostic Report.
    Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (June 2008) – An Environmental Management Plan for Marine Aquaculture in South Africa.
    Provincial Government of the Western Cape (July 2008) – A Draft Aquaculture Strategy.
    The reports contained the following references:
    Botes, L. Thompson G. and Louw R., 2006. Transformation in the Aquaculture Industry: Two Case Studies Investigating Empowerment and Enterpise Development. Aquaculture Institute of South Africa report. 40p.
    Botes, L. Skills Development, Capacity Building and Training Requirements in the Western Cape. A report for the Aquaculture Institute of South Africa. 26p.
    Brink, D. (2003). Overview of aquaculture in South Africa: 2003. Report. Division of Aquaculture, University of Stellenbosch.
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