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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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World Fisheries Day 2016: No fish without a healthy seabed

21 November 2016 at 3:53 pm

World Fisheries Day, established to draw attention to serious threats to our marine resources, is celebrated every year on 21 November throughout the world. For the past two years, along with our partners in the Safeguard our Seabed Coalition, CER has worked to highlight the serious threat that marine phosphate mining poses to our fishing industry. The potential impacts of seabed mining include the direct destruction of spawning and breeding habitats for fish species. This would impact on revenue, jobs and livelihood associated with the fishing industry. South Africa’s commercial fishing industry employs approximately 27 000 people directly, and latest estimates suggest that there are approximately 8 078 small-scale fishers in South Africa. Whereas fishing can be renewable, seabed mining cannot.

It is for this reason that the CER partnered with organisations that represent the interests of small-scale and commercial fishing (including PLAAS, SADSTIA, FishSA, Responsible Fisheries Alliance and Masifundise Development Trust) to establish the Safeguard our Seabed Coalition. Recently, the Safeguard our Seabed commissioned a study, sponsored by the Responsible Fisheries Alliance, on the socio-economic benefits of the South Africa’s fishing industry in the context of marine phosphate mining to inform decision-making.

Visit Safeguard our Seabed Coalition for more information.