Reflecting on eight years of the Responsible Fisheries Alliance

The Responsible Fisheries Alliance (RFA) has come a long way since its inception eight years ago.

It was initiated by WWF South Africa alongside South Africa’s major fishing companies to promote collaboration in finding solutions for major environmental challenges affecting the fishing industry.

In reflecting on successes to date, the RFA Review (2009 – 2017) celebrates progress made and milestones reached, as the alliance continues to work towards achieving its vision of a healthy marine ecosystem underpinning a robust seafood industry.

The 24 page review provides an outline of the significant changes brought about as a result of the work undertaken by the alliance towards an Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries (EAF), which is underpinned by responsible fishing practices.

More than 20 projects were completed, which focused on inter alia the creation and presentation of awareness and skills development programmes for fishers; research to promote an EAF; reducing seabird mortalities and tackling issues that have a potential impact on the industry, such as marine phosphate sediment mining.

Some highlights include:

  • More than one thousand fishers trained and hundreds of training posters displayed on vessels;
  • A 90% reduction in seabird mortalities in the trawl fishery;
  • Collaboration between scientists, commercial companies and conservationists to enhance research and data analysis regarding African penguins; and
  • The development of a responsible fisheries Code of Conduct across fishing associations.

The RFA has also been a key role-player, as part of the Safeguard Our Seabed Coalition, in lobbying for a moratorium on seabed mining.

Download the review attached below:


  1. RFA Review (2009-2017) (4.5 MiB)