Aquaculture industry in South Africa faces impact of industrial development

World Today

Saldanha Bay, located on the western coast of South Africa is the epicenter of the nation’s shellfish industry, but some are worried that the port authority’s decision to build a new oil and gas hub will have negative impacts. To create the hub, the harbor must be dredged to allow large oil rigs in. CCTV’s Angelo Coppola reported this story from Saldanha Bay.

Aquaculture industry in South Africa faces impact of industrial development

Aquaculture industry in South Africa faces impact of industrial development

Saldanha Bay, located on the western coast of South Africa is the epicenter of the nation’s shellfish industry, but some are worried that the port authority’s decision to build a new oil and gas hub will have negative impacts. To create the hub, the harbor must be dredged to allow large oil rigs in. CCTV’s Angelo Coppola reported this story from Saldanha Bay.

The bay is home to 10 aquaculture concessions and is known for its abalone. The industry will also get a boost from the country’s Phakisa project which seeks to grow the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans.

“Our mussel production is sold domestically, currently, oysters, [has] a mix of domestic and export. Our current export destination is Hong Kong and China,” Tony Tonin, founder of the Saldanha Bay Oyster Company said.

But some worry that the project won’t counter the impact of the new oil and gas development.

“Once one starts disturbing the sea bed and the materials on the sea bed, those will have an impact on the aquaculture and mussel farming, so it would be necessary for us to relocate those farms to the big bay area,” Willem Roux, port manager for Saldanha Bay said.

Tony Tonin, founder of the Saldanha Bay Oyster Company said that he hopes any development plans will include strong environmental management safeguards.