The Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, has welcomed the increase in South Africa’s southern Bluefin tuna allocation from 150 tons to 423 tons.
The Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) increased South Africa’s allocation during its 23rd annual Extended Commission meeting in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, recently.
CCSBT is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for the management of southern Bluefin tuna. Southern Bluefin is a highly sought after tuna species, which was heavily over-fished in the 1980s and 1990s.
The CCSBT also agreed to transfer 27 tons of its allocation to South Africa, which is added to South Africa’s Southern Bluefin tuna tonnage for the 2018-2020 fishing seasons.
Minister Zokwana said the allocation increase is essential to South Africa’s job creation, as it will provide permanent employment in the sector and will inject much needed export revenue for the country.
He estimated that the 450 tons increase could be worth about R270 million, depending on the foreign exchange rate, and could create about 1 000 or more jobs for the unemployed.
“This allocation increase is a strategic opportunity for our country, as it is essential to stimulate the development of the domestic tuna longline fishery. This will create a large incentive for foreign vessels to reflag to South Africa and for foreign vessel owners to invest in South Africa,” said Minister Zokwana. – SAnews.gov.za