WEBINAR: The crisis around our humble Sardine – Balancing human consumption and ecosystem needs
THURSDAY, 09 December 2021 from 13:00 – 14:00 SAST/CAT
PLAAS invites you to a webinar titled ‘The crisis around our humble Sardine – Balancing human consumption and ecosystem needs’
The speakers include:
- Professor Moenieba Isaacs, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies
- Mr Craig Smith, World Wide Fund for Nature
- Dr Lauren Waller, Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds
The webinar will be chaired by Professor Mafaniso Hara from PLAAS
Over 60% of fish that is consumed by South Africans is Sardine (Sardinops sagax). Therefore, the species is the most important source of fish protein for the low and middle-income consumers. Also, two thirds of approximately 140,000 tonnes of sardine canned annually in South Africa is exported to other African countries, underlining its regional significance in terms of nutrition and food security.
Recent surveys indicate a depleted state of the SA sardine resource, which has failed to recover since 2006, resulting in progressive reduction in TAC since 2016, to the extent that in 2019 the TAC was a token 12,250 t compared to almost 450,000 t in 2004. Not only has the sardine TAC decreased, but since 2017 the small pelagic fishing industry has also struggled to catch its full sardine TAC. The declining trend of sardine is also mirrored by a number of top predators dependent on small pelagic resources as a source of food. These species include the African penguin, Cape cormorant and Cape gannet, all of which are now classified as endangered species. There is no agreement on the cause of the decline. Climate change, cyclic boom and bust and over fishing have been suggested. The canning industry has overcome this crisis by importing raw sardine for canning locally.
This webinar will discuss and debate the social, economic and ecological implications of the South African sardine crisis. Some of the key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the state of the sardine resource in South Africa?
- What is the impact on the endangered species in the ecosystem?
- What are the implications for the nutrition and food security for many poor in South Africa?
Please join us for this important debate and share your views and opinions on this important and topical issue.