CAPE TOWN - The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff), Bheki Cele has called on Saldanha Bay community and surrounding areas' residents not to depend on giant fishing companies, and initiate their own aquaculture projects.
As part of World Fisheries Day celebrations, Cele explored several aquaculture projects in Saldanha Bay and Langebaan.
Accompanied by journalists, Daff showcased three aquaculture projects - forming part of Operation Phakisa - the Molapong Aquaculture, Southern Atlantic Sea Farms and Blue Ocean Mussels.
Cele was thrilled to have seen dedicated aquaculture farmer's from the Bay and the business efforts that they have put so far.
"As a government, it is now our responsibility to ensure that we motivate communities living along the coastal line to establish their own fishing initiatives
so as to curb poverty. We cannot let people suffer from hunger while there's food in front of them - in the sea," Cele explained.
Calls for transformation
Molapong Aquaculture farm manager, Barend Stander says at the moment they are restricted to produce 50 tonnes per year of trout as their project is still at the initiation stage.
A local community leader, Danville Smith lambasted that the fishing industry is not properly regulated. "We call for transformation in the fishing industry," Smith added.
According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation recent figures, around 80 million tonnes of fish and seafood are caught globally each year
Inflamed community members have expressed their grievances and dissatisfaction with regards to fishing rights and Daff policies directly to Cele.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE