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Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries developed in South Africa

  • Post category:RFA News

A Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries in South African waters has been developed, with the Responsible Fisheries Alliance (RFA) leading the way.
The RFA collaborated with independent consultants Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring (CapFish) on a project to develop a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in South Africa. The RFA – a partnership between the World Wide Fund for Nature-SA and BirdLife South Africa, together with four major fishing companies, I&J, Oceana Group, Sea Harvest and Viking Fishing – was formed in 2009 to enhance the implementation of the national goal towards an ecosystems approach to fisheries management (EAF).
This innovative Code of Conduct was developed to provide a guideline to steer the fishing industry toward responsible fishing practices which in turn will ensure the sustainable harvesting of marine resources. Based on the principles for a responsible fishery as espoused by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it serves as a generic template for local fisheries by outlining the approach to various issues such as pollution, bycatch, discarding of waste, and overfishing that need to be considered in order to stimulate the effective implementation of an EAF in a local context.
This generic template developed by the RFA and CapFish will serve as the basis to enable other fishing sectors to voluntarily develop their fishery-specific Codes of Conduct. The Alliance will now seek to work closely with the broader fishing industry in order to promote the adoption of this self-regulatory mechanism by all. Additional objectives of the Code of Conduct are to:
• Encourage collaboration between crew, management and others with an interest in the management , conservation and utilisation of fishery resources;
• Ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations pertaining to the fishery; and
• Serve as an instrument of reference to fishers, present and future.
The RFA is hopeful that these industry specific Codes of Conduct will encourage the sustainable use of marine resources within local fisheries and facilitate a healthier, more robust fishing sector. Dave Japp, project executant, says “By establishing this set of principles, we aim to work closely with the fishing industry to encourage high standards of behaviour that will embed responsible fishing practices and the continuous improvement in the sustainable management of our precious fishery resources”.The generic Code of Conduct template can be accessed here