“The Marine Living Resources Act prescribes the need to restructure the fishing industry to address historical imbalances and to achieve equity within all branches of the industry. The deep-sea trawl fishery is surely on its way to achieve this equity”.
So says newly elected chairman of SADSTIA, Terence Brown, who has announced a radical change in the racial make-up of the SADSTIA Executive Committee (Exco).
“Both the chairman, vice-chairman and the new members of the Exco are from historically disadvantaged backgrounds,” he said.
The new members are:
- Terence Brown, operations director of Sea Harvest
- Donovan Brickles, group quality assurance manager at I&J
- Trevor Wilson, shareholder in the Viking Fishing Group of companies
- Madoda Khumalo, strategic services executive at Sea Harvest.
Arthur Shipalana, a director of ZWM Fishing, Visko See Produkte and Basani Fishing and a long-standing member of the SADSTIA Exco, has retained his position.
Madoda Khumalo will head up SADSTIA’s vitally important Scientific Committee and Johann Augustyn, who was appointed SADSTIA secretary in 2014, will continue to take responsibility for the day-to-day running of Association. Johann is currently working with intern Fisokuhle Mbatha.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be nominated to chair an association with such a rich history,” said Brown.
“SADSTIA has taken many years to transform to the point that its Exco is now reflective of the industry it represents.”
A study completed by the independent empowerment research and ratings agency, Empowerdex, in 2016 revealed that the deep-sea trawl industry is 62.36% black owned. This is in stark contrast to the early 1990s when the industry was dominated by a handful of white-owned conglomerates.
Outgoing SADSTIA chairman, Tim Reddell, who chaired the Association for 15 (non-consecutive) years, echoed Brown’s sentiments, saying:
“We considered it time to hand over the batten of leadership to a new generation of managers that is truly representative of the industry. All of SADSTIA’s members have taken the development of young talent very seriously and the outgoing committee is immensely proud of the calibre of people who have been elected to the Exco. We have no doubt they will work hard to represent the interests of Association’s members.”
SADSTIA is one of the most influential organisations in the local fishing industry, owing to the fact that its 46 members generate approximately 50 percent of the value of South Africa’s fishery production. These companies catch, process and export a range of value-added hake products and also supply a competitive local market with fresh and frozen hake – and crumbed and coated products, like the ever-popular fish finger.
According to Brown, the Association has much work to do.
“The next steps for SADSTIA are to continue to manage the hake resource responsibly,” he said. “We respect the role that the government regulator, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has played to support and maintain the certification of the hake trawl resource by the Marine Stewardship Council. It shows that the co-management approach is working well.”
The South African hake trawl fishery has been certified as sustainable and well-managed by the Marine Stewardship Council − the world’s leading certification and eco-labelling program for sustainable, wild-caught seafood − since 2004. It is the only fishery in Africa to have achieved this accolade.
“Under new leadership, SADSTIA looks forward to maintaining dialogue with DAFF and collaborating so that both industry and government continue to reap the benefits of a sustainable fishery,” said Brown.
“I would also like to see the inclusion and involvement of the Eastern Cape quota holders so that we, as an Association, become more inclusive and ultimately maintain the excellent work done over the past 43 years.”
SADSTIA was founded in 1974, originally with three founder members. It has played a central role in the growth and development of the deep-sea trawl fishery.