Coastal waters are under immense pressure due to over-exploitation. Inadequate coastal protection and enforcement appears to be failing and the issue is becoming a real, pressing matter.
Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish, and seaweed, in a natural, controlled marine or freshwater environment – also known as underwater agriculture.
Aquaculture is still in its infancy in South Africa, but the demand for fresh seafood is increasing and the resource is increasingly exposed to exploitation. Aquaculture is a serious option to be considered as a sustainable and healthier approach to job creation. Above ground fishing projects have been described as “profitable, affordable, repeatable, transportable, lockable and stackable”. The aquaculture sector has seen a worldwide growth rate of 9% a year since 1973 and the commercial fish farming industry globally was valued by the United Nations in access of R600 billion in the year 2008. Unfortunately, South Africa lags behind the rest of the world but it has been noted by government that aquaculture is a viable, effective way of contributing to food security.
Aquaculture has been earmarked as a feasible initiative to assist in meeting the rising demand for seafood, it provides stress relief to over-exploitation and it is essential for future food security.