South Africa revives legislation aimed at boosting aquaculture sector

An Aqunion aquaculture setup in South Africa

South Africa has revived legislation, which fell into governmental limbo nearly five years ago, that aims to support an ambitious aquaculture sector expansion under the government’s National Development Plan – an economic blueprint meant to limit poverty and inequality in the country by 2030.

On 13 September, South Africa’s government approved the publication of the delayed bill for public comment in a government bid to pull the legislation out of limbo.

“The purpose of the [Draft Aquaculture Development] Bill is to promote the development of a responsible aquaculture sector for meaningful contribution to food security and economic development for the country; support greater participation of small businesses, especially those owned by women and youth; and promote the transformation of the aquaculture sector,” Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said.

Reviving the draft bill, which the government first approved for introduction into parliament in 2018, signals a fresh push by South Africa to pursue initiatives identified by a team of stakeholders from the government, seafood industry, and private sector as necessary if nationwide production is to grow to 20,000 metric tons (MT), increase sector-wide annual revenues to ZAR 3 billion (USD 156.5 million EUR 147.8 million), and create at least 15,000 jobs by 2030, all of which are stated goals.

Currently, the legislative framework governing aquaculture activities in the country is fragmented and regulated by various departments, according to the Eastern Cape Socioeconomic Consultative Council.

The draft bill is part of wider legislative reform that aims to ... 

Photo courtesy of Aqunion

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