On Wednesday the World Wildlife Fund presented report aimed at protecting southern African marine life. Its conclusion is that fisheries in the regions will face further decline unless a new approach to fishing is adopted.
The report, the fruit of a partnership between the WWF and Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem program, recommends an approach balancing the general health of ecosystems and the economic viability of the fishing industry. It also suggests ways in which the industry can reduce unwanted catches of albatrosses and sea turtles.
The WWF argues that industry should move away from its traditional dependence on the conservation of single species whereby select populations, such as hake, are maintained without consideration for other species.
Some environmentalists are convinced that this approach has caused the poor state of oceans and the decline in fish stocks worldwide.
Fishing is a major sector in the economies of countries such as Namibia, Angola and South Africa. In the South African economy, for example, it accounts for revenues of about 4 billion rand (US$583.4 million) a year.