The Ring Fence Initiative

The ring fence initiative is a voluntary undertaking on the part of SADSTIA members to only trawl on currently used grounds, prevent damage to lightly trawled areas, and to preserve natural refuges for hake.

The ring fenced area represents approximately 4.4 percent of South Africa’s territorial waters. Trawling outside the ring fenced zone requires the completion of an environmental impact assessment.

The ring fence initiative has been systematically implemented by SADSTIA. A brochure and navigational software was circulated to the entire trawling industry. The software is compatible with the plotting system used by skippers to track their trawling activities. As such, it is possible for each skipper to quickly and easily identify the boundaries of the trawl grounds, outside of which trawling is prohibited.

SADSTIA’s seabed research

Read more about SADSTIA’s seabed research: Wilkinson, S. & Japp, D. 2005. Description and evaluation of hake-directed trawling intensity on benthic habitat in South Africa. Prepared by Fisheries and Oceanographic Support Services on behalf of SADSTIA.