Fish is one of the most traded food commodities in the world, with more than half of trade originating from developing countries.
South Africa has important marine resources that can be self-renewable if well managed. This sector contributes less than 1%of gross domestic product, but is strategic for food security, employment and protecting the environment. The industry is strongbut faces challenges in its transformation efforts and its ability to ensure sustainability.
South Africa´s fish industry is internationally focused and the country is a net exporter of fish. The European Union has provena stable partner, absorbing more than half of the exports, with a growth rate of more than 50% since 2013, and with the tradebalance weighing heavily in favour of South Africa.
Aquaculture is still nascent but holds enormous potential given global demand. Linked to coastal communities and low-skilledworkers, if adequately supported, it could boost inclusive growth and bring more people into the mainstream economy. Thegovernment’s Operation Phakisa targets aquaculture as a key growth area for the ocean economy. However, aquaculture needsinvestment and the support of government to grow the necessary scale to be commercially viable and comply with strict healthrequirements internationally.