Children born today may not be able to buy fish by the time they turn 40 because the world’s fish stocks will have been depleted.
In South Africa alone, at least 15 species of linefish have collapsed, including white steenbras, galjoen, silver cob, red steenbras, red stumpnose, dusky cob and geelbek. Yellowtail and snoek may follow suit as they are currently listed as “optimally exploited”, according to environmental affairs and tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk. S peaking recently at the opening of the Ix Fin Fish Hatchery in Gansbaai, where linefish will be farmed, Van Schalkwyk said it is important that alternatives to capturing wild fish, such as linefish farming, be considered. “Developing line fish farming could augment the availability of linefish and possibly assist with rebuilding wild stocks,” he said. x’s fin fish farm is expected to produce about 1 000 tons of fish within the first year valued at R30/kg. About 100 jobs will be created. Van Schalkwyk said aquaculture was growing faster than other animal food-producing sectors worldwide, at 8,8% per year since 1970, but he noted that the level of overexploited and depleted fish stocks in the wild have remained unchanged. A recent report on global marine biodiversity concluded that if current trends continue, fisheries will collapse worldwide by 2048. – African Eye News Service