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Table 2. Value of major industrial fisheries in Namibia and South Africa in 1996 and 1997 respectively. Namibian data from MFMR. South African data from Stuttaford (1998). Note: N$1 = R1.

* Includes longline catches ** Includes midwater trawl catches

The following is a more general description of the socio-economic value of the major fisheries in each of the three countries

The fisheries sector is very important in Angola, being the third-most important industry after oil and diamond mining. It provides nearly half of the animal protein of the country, and is an important source of employment and food to populations of the coastal regions, where it is often the only source of livelihood for the poorer population groups. Domestic consumption of fish, which was estimated at 11.1 kg per person per annum in 1994, is the highest in the region.
According to the results of a survey conducted in 1992, there were at that time around 30 000 workers directly involved in activities of the fisheries sector, of which some 18 000 were involved in artisanal fisheries. The remainder were involved in industrial fisheries and public administration. In addition, it was estimated that some 5 000 persons (mainly women) were involved in informal fish trade activities. A more recent report (Delgado and Kingombo 1998) puts the number of artisanal fishermen a few years later at over 23 000, and the number of people involved in informal fish trading at between 20 000 and 30 000. Many artisanal fishermen are not able to make a living solely from fishing, and supplement their incomes by, for example, agricultural and commercial activities.

At present, roughly half of the revenue from fish and fish products in Angola comes from exports, which varied in value between US$ 27 million in 1993 and US$ 46 million in 1995. Prawns are the most important product, making up 48% of the total revenue from the fishery sector in 1995, for example. The main export markets are Europe for prawns and demersal fish, African countries for small pelagic fish including horse mackerel, and Japan for tuna and crab.

Although some of the resources have clearly been overexploited, others are probably still under-utilised, evidenced by the fact that, in some of the fisheries, TAC limits have often not been reached, and that total industrial catches before Independence were typically some three times higher than they are now. This is partly due to operational constraints stemming from a breakdown in infrastructure during the civil war, and the socio-political and security situation in the county at present. With greater political and economic stability, some of these resources could well contribute more to the Angolan economy than they do at present.
Fisheries is the third-largest sector of the Namibian economy, behind agriculture and mining, The industrial fishery has generated more than 10% of the GDP in recent years, producing products to the value of N$ 1 374 million in 1996. Exports were valued at N$ 1 048 million in that year, making the sector the second-largest export earner behind mining. It is the second-fastest growing industry in the Namibian economy (behind tourism) with the value of production and exports now being some six times greater than at Independence.

The fisheries sector is extremely important in the social economy of Namibia, particularly in Walvis Bay, which is the major fishing port and where most of the processing plants are situated. Local employment in the sector grew rapidly after Independence, with an estimated 6 000 jobs having been created between 1991 and 1994. The integration of Walvis Bay into Namibia in 1994, and the removal of the uncertainty regarding the port’s future, stimulated an influx of investment in the fishing industry and subsidiary service industries with a further growth in employment. The number of people directly employed in the fisheries sector in 1996 was about 15 000, of which some 7 500 were fishermen. Of these 43% were foreigners, mainly in the horse mackerel and tuna fisheries, a proportion that has decreased from around 66% in 1993. It has been projected that by the year 2 000, the total number of people employed in the fisheries sector will have risen to above 20 000, exceeding the original target of 15 000 set in 1992.

The demersal fishery is the most valuable fishery in Namibia. In 1996 the catch had a landed value of N$ 593 million, and a final value after product beneficiation of N$ 718 million. About 90% of the catch is either sea-frozen or wetfish hake. Monkfish make up most of the remainder, with the average landed value of the catch in recent years amounting to some N$ 70 million per year (Olsen 1997). Almost the entire demersal catch is exported.
The pelagic fishery is second in importance, canned sardine being the most valuable product. In recent years the total export earnings from the pelagic fishery have been around N$ 400 million per annum, except in 1996 when no fish were canned, causing exports to drop to N$ 91 million. In more normal years, canned fish, almost all of which is exported to South Africa, make up more than 90% of the export earnings of the fishery, with fishmeal contributing almost all of the remainder.
The midwater trawl fishery for horse mackerel has contributed some N$ 250 million per year in exports in recent years, mostly in the form of relatively low-value frozen fish, with minor contributions from fishmeal (around 10% ) and dried-salted fish (approx. 3 % in 1996). There is little product beneficiation, the export value of the catch being typically only about 10% above the landed value. Only about 3 % of the production is consumed domestically.

The deep-water fishery has made a significant contibution to the fisheries sector in recent years, with exports to the value of N$ 171 million in 1996. Orange roughy contributes more than 90% by value, and alfonsino most of the remainder. Processing (mainly the production of high-quality fillets for the USA and Japanese markets) approximately doubles the value of the catch, and is labour-intensive, providing much-needed employment in Walvis Bay.

The above four industries contribute more than 90 % by product value of all of Namibia’s industrial fish production. Of the remainder, only the tuna (3%), crab (1.5%) and rock lobster fisheries (1.5%) contribute more than 1% in most years. To these must be added the recreational linefishery. Kirchner, Sakko and Barnes (in press) have estimated that between October 1997 and September 1998, some 8 800 anglers spent 173 000 days angling, and had direct expenditures of N$ 29.7 million. Value added to gross national income within the shore-angling fishery during that period was estimated at N$ 14 million. The expenditures ultimately resulted in gross national income of some N$ 3 000 per angler, or N$ 27 million in aggregate.
South Africa
The living marine resources of the Benguela Current form the basis of a fishing industry which supports some 26 000 people (mostly in the Western Cape), and supplies food for the whole Southern African subregion. In 1997 the South African fishing industry caught a total of 445 000 tonnes of fish, shellfish and seaweed nationwide, of which more than 90% was taken from the Benguela. The wholesale value of the total processed output in this year was estimated at R 1 953 million, with an export value of R 873 million, on a par with Namibia. Fishing is particularly important in the social economy of the Western Cape, where some entire coastal communities depend directly or indirectly on fishing for their livelihood. However, the fishing industry yields less than 1% of South Africa’s GDP.

In terms of volume, the purse-seine fishery for pelagic species is the most important sector. In 1997 (a comparatively poor year), landings of pelagic fish totalled 286 000 tonnes, of which about a third was canned. Practically all of the remainder was reduced to meal. Because of the high local demand for fishmeal, and the comparatively small output of canned fish, the pelagic sector exports relatively little (export value R 31 million in 1996). The sector is entirely industrialised, the smaller vessels (some of which are privately owned) concentrating on anchovy and juvenile sardine for meal, and the larger, factory-owned vessels on adult sardine for canning.

Economically, the trawl fishery is the most important sector of the South African fishing industry. Catches of hake, which amounted to 147 000 tonnes in 1997, usually contribute about 70% of the trawl catch and about 80% of its value. Horse mackerel, snoek, monkfish and kingklip are the most valuable other trawled species, together accounting on average for about 20% by landing and value of the catch. In 1997 the landed value of processed products from a total demersal trawl catch of 200 000 tonnes was R 428 million. The value of hake exports in 1997 exceeded R 300 million; about a third of the total revenue from all South African fish and shellfish exports. The fish are largely caught by trawlers operating under quotas held by a number of large companies, although in recent years a number of smaller companies and private boat-owners have entered the trawl fishery. A longline fishery from smaller vessels has also been developing, accounting for about 3% of the hake catch in 1997.
The West Coast rock lobster fishery is a major export fishery in South Africa, about 75% of the catch being exported. In the 1997 season, 1 726 tonnes of rock lobster were landed from the West Coast, with a wholesale processed (mainly frozen tails) value of R 102 million. The rock lobster fishery is labour-intensive, and is an important source of employment and income in many fishing villages on the Cape West Coast.

The wholesale processed value of all commercial landings of linefish in South African waters in 1997 was estimated at R 106 million, of which about half was contributed by snoek. Contributions from tuna catches in this year made up 12% of the remainder. These figures do not represent the substantial direct and indirect contribution which recreational and subsistence fishing on linefish species makes to the South African economy. A recent nationwide survey conducted between 1994 and 1996 (Brouwer et al. 1997, McGrath et al. 1997) showed that over that period there were some 3 000 registered commercial linefish boats and about 7 900 skiboats operating off the South African coastline. About 18 100 crew were employed on the commercial boats, while nearly 14 000 recreational fishermen went to sea on skiboats. They estimated furthermore that roughly 412 000 people participated in shore-based angling, and about 7 000 each in beach-seining/gill- netting (largely a subsistence fishery) and recreational spearfishing. In all, they estimated that South Africa’s linefisheries and direct support industries provide employment to over 130 000 people, and that some 20 000 households living in poverty depend on linefish catches for about 9% of their household income. They put the total contribution of linefisheries to the gross geographic product (GGP) of South African coastal provinces (Western and Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) at nearly R2 200 million, which amounts to 1.3% of the GGP of those provinces. Although a significant proportion of this was caught on the South and East Coasts, it is clear that the value of the South African linefisheries in the Benguela system is out of all proportion to the product value of the catch.


8.1 Policy and legal framework
In all three countries of the region it is the national policy to utilise living marine resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of the nation, and to manage them according to scientific information and principles. Ultimate responsiblity for control measures rests with the State in all three countries. Most of the primary research on fisheries resources has been done by state-run research institutes operating within Government Departments (viz. the Ministry of Fisheries in Angola, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Namibia, and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in South Africa).
The nation’s marine and inland fisheries are managed and developed in terms of the Fisheries Act, which was developed with the assistance of the FAO and promulgated in 1992. The Act covers such aspects as fisheries management (which is implemented through various Executive Decrees governing different sectors of the fishery), planning and licensing, the control of the quality and export of fish products, and surveillance and enforcement. In recent years, with the move to a market economy in Angola, and the privatisation of large State-owned companies, the State has limited its activities to the management of the resources, surveillance, support of development and the creation of infrastructure.

The broad national policy regarding fisheries development centres around the stengthening of regulatory and management capabilities of the Government, the development of small-scale fisheries, developing and increasing the participation of the national fleet in industrial fisheries, the rehabilitation of land-based industries with an emphasis on frozen, salted and canned products, and the improvement of the quality and distribution of fish for domestic and export markets. In terms of this Policy, the State is encouraging conversion of present licencing agreements for foreign fishing into joint ventures involving local vessels and Angolan entrepeneurs.

Research is carried out by IIP, the Instituto de Investigação Pesqueira (Institute of Fisheries Research), and IPA, the Instituto de Desenvolvimento Pesca Artesanal (Institute for Development of Artisanal Fisheries), both of which fall under the Ministry of Fisheries and have headquarters in Luanda, with smaller regional laboratories along the coast. IIP annually submits a document on the current state of the fisheries resources in the Angolan EEZ and recommendations on TACs and other control measures to the Ministry of Fisheries, and maintains a corps of some 120 observers for monitoring catches. As part of the national surveillance system, Angola is already implementing a VMS for fishing vessels, which is one of the more advanced in the region. (CHECK_FONTES)

The Ministry of Fisheries receives support for research and development from donor agencies such as the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD), and from fishing agreements with the European Union (EU). Cooperation with international bodies (such as the FAO) and various donor agencies and overseas laboratories (such as the Institute for Marine Research in Bergen and the Portuguese Institute of Marine Research in Lisbon) in the development and management of Angola’s fisheries is seen as very important. The development of links with other countries in the region (particularly Namibia) is also regarded as important, as is participation in regional marine science programmes such as BENEFIT (see Section 8.3), whose training and infrastructure-building goals are seen as being particularly pertinent to the needs of the country.


In Namibia, a 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone was declared on Independence in 1990, followed by the promulgation of a new Sea Fisheries Act in 1992, and the introduction of a new national policy on exploitation rights and quota allocation in 1993. A major emphasis has been placed on Namibianization of all sectors of the fishing industry and the building up of local research and management capacity. Fisheries research is conducted within the Directorate of Resource Management of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), by the National Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC) in Swakopmund and the Lüderitz Research Centre. Scientific recommendations for the harvesting of all resources except seals are presented to the Namibian Sea Fishery Advisory Council, which makes recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources after considering socio-economic factors and the industry’s perception of the state of the resource. The Council also advises on the allocation of a research fund derived from levies on catches. The Minister, after consultation with a Fisheries Management Committee within the Ministry, submits TAC recommendations to Cabinet for final endorsement. Legislation is effectively implemented. All fish must be off-loaded under inspection at either Walvis Bay or Lüderitz, and a fisheries observer trained in basic biological sampling accompanies all vessels large enough to carry extra personnel. Surveillance is carried out by patrol vessels and aircraft, and a satellite vessel-monitoring system is being investigated. In addition to her national responsibilities, Namibia has established a SADC Sector Coordinating Unit within the MFMR to discharge her responsibility as Sector Coordinator for Marine Fisheries and Resources for the SADC.

South Africa
Until very recently, management of South Africa’s living marine resources was carried out in terms of the Sea Fisheries Act of 1988. TACs and other control measures were decided upon by the responsible Minister (most recently the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism), acting on advice from his Department and a Sea Fisheries Advisory Committee (SFAC), which received input inter alia from the Department’s Chief Directorate of Sea Fisheries. The SFAC also made recommendations on the allocation of the Sea Fishery Fund, a fund derived from levies on fish catches that was used to support research and development activities. Quotas were awarded by an independent Quota Board.

A new Act (the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998) has recently been promulgated. It includes in its objectives the achievement of broad and accountable participation in decision-making processes, and the restructuring of the fishing industry to redress historical imbalances and achieve equity within the industry. The SFAC has been replaced by a Consultative Advisory Forum (CAF), which is responsible for advising the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on management and development of the fishing industry (including the setting of TACs), research direction and allocation of a Marine Living Resources Fund, which replaces the former Sea Fishery Fund. The new Fund receives income from levies, licences, penalties and other sources, which permits its disbursement to spheres of fisheries management (e.g. administration, compliance) other than only research and development. The Minister is ultimately responsible for deciding upon TACs and other control measures, and for allocating quotas on advice from his Department. Implementation of fisheries regulations is still carried out by the Department, with assistance where necessary from the South African Navy and the Police Unit for Coastal Patrols. A VMS system to assist in monitoring the movements and activities of fishing vessels is currently being tested.

8.2 Research and management capacity
Local institutions

In Angola, accommodation available for marine science and technology is generally adequate, particularly at IIP headquarters in Luanda. However, the laboratories are not well equipped, and the support infrastructure (technical services, communications systems, computing and library facilities etc.) is inadequate to service the needs of the Institute. The Institute’s research vessel Goa is poorly equipped and is at present not operational, making the Institute totally reliant on foreign research vessels (particularly Dr Fridtjof Nansen) for research cruises in Angolan waters. Although the Institute employs a number of research staff with post-graduate degrees in marine science from overseas universities, most are graduates of the Agostino Neto University in Luanda, where no courses in marine science subjects are provided. Consequently there is an acute shortage of professional knowledge, both in terms of numbers and skills, which is only being partly overcome by post-graduate training within the Institute and abroad. The same is true of technical support personnel.

NatMIRC in Swakopmund, Namibia, currently employs a research staff of some 42 scientists, technicians and assistants, and the Lüderitz Research Centre, which is responsible for research on local resources in southern Namibia, about 10. NatMIRC’s office, laboratory, library and meeting facilities are new and excellent, and the Lüderitz facilities are even newer. NatMIRC possesses a range of reasonably modern equipment, and there is a public aquarium within the building to increase public awareness of marine issues. The Ministry operates a 47 - m research stern trawler R. V. Welwitschia (scientific capacity 9) which is relatively new and well-equipped for resource and environmental surveys in local waters. All acoustic surveys on pelagic fish are now done on this vessel, but trawl surveys are still done on Dr Fridtjof Nansen and commercial trawlers because of limitations in Welwitschia’s bottom-trawling capability. The Ministry’s scientific staff are generally well qualified, but have limited experience. On appointment few have specific training as marine scientists, and most undergo further training through studying for post-graduate degrees at South African or overseas universities and the attendance of courses and specialist workshops locally or abroad. Training and research support is also received from donors and from foreign consultants attached to or engaged by the Ministry for varying periods. Nonetheless, there are staff limitations, a particular practical one being the shortage of qualified technicians to maintain and develop the specialised equipment needed for research.

Namibian institutions which are involved in marine science education, or which have the potential to become involved, are the University of Namibia (UNAM) in Windhoek, through a new course in natural resources which includes marine science subjects, and the Polytechnic of Namibia, through its nature conservation diploma. Through the BENEFIT Training Programme, inter alia, ways are being sought to strengthen the ties between NatMIRC and these institutions and other tertiary education bodies in the region.

In South Africa, statutory responsibility for advising on the state and management of marine living resources, and for carrying out the necessary research in order to do so, resides with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Research was until very recently carried out by the Sea Fisheries Research Institute (SFRI) in Cape Town, which resorted under the Department’s Chief Directorate of Sea Fisheries. The Institute had an establishment of some 150 scientific and technical staff, who conducted research on all aspects of marine science, including resource assessment, physical, chemical and biological oceanography and equipment and gear development (including electronics). The Institute itself, as well as the Chief Directorate it served, has now been restructured to meet new challenges in resource management in the country. The scientific component is now split among three resource-orientated directorates within a new Chief Directorate of Marine and Coastal Management (M&CM), the scientific establishment becoming more involved in resource management issues in an attempt to strengthen the whole Chief Directorate where it is needed most. Scientists will still however have leading roles in the new structure, within a matrix-like system which is being developed to ensure continuation of the strong scientific ethic already in place.

M&CM has a number of research vessels, the largest of which are the two research stern-trawlers, R. S. Africana (78m, with a capacity for 19 scientists) and the 52m-long R. S. Algoa, which has a capacity for 13 scientists. Both vessels are excellent platforms for multi-disciplinary research, and are relatively well equipped, although some of the equipment requires updating or replacement. In recent years the vessels have been underutilised due to staffing and funding problems, and maintenance problems are increasing. M&CM has good workshop and library facilities, and possesses a wide range of oceanographic and survey equipment (some of which was developed in-house), as well as a newly-built research aquarium of world-class standard. The Department also publishes the prestigious South African Journal of Marine Science, edited by M&CM staff, which has a high current ranking in the international Science Citation Index, and in which much of the research work in the Benguela has been published. To date 20 volumes have been published, dating back to 1983.

Other South African institutions actively involved in research in the Benguela are the University of Cape Town (Departments of Oceanography, Zoology, Applied Mathematics and Statistical Sciences), the University of the Western Cape (Departments of Zoology and Botany), and to a lesser extent, the South African Museum in Cape Town (Taxonomy), the University of Port Elizabeth (Departments of Zoology and Oceanography), Rhodes University in Grahamstown (Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science), the Port Elizabeth Museum and the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology in Grahamstown, a national facility of the National Research Foundation. Technical training in oceanography is offered by the Cape Technikon in Cape Town, which runs a 3-year diploma in oceanography, with practical training and lecturing by M&CM staff. These institutions have been an important source of professional and technical staff for South African marine research institutions, and strong links have been developed between them and the State, for example through the Benguela Ecology Programme (BEP); a highly successful collaborative research venture between the former SFRI and several of the universities (particularly UCT) which was started in 1981 and is still running (see assessment by Field, 1996).

In South Africa, a national oceanographic data base for physical and chemical data is maintained by the CSIR’s (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) South African Data Centre for Oceanography (SADCO) in Stellenbosch. High-resolution raw and partly-processed thermal and ocean colour imagery can be purchased from the CSIR’s Satellite Applications Centre (SAC) in Haartebeeshoek, which maintains an archive of NOAA AVHRR imagery dating back to 1984. These Centres are capable of serving the needs of much of the region, although there are inadequacies such as incomplete satellite cover of northern Angola and the lack of biological information within SADCO.
Donor assistance
Marine research in the Benguela has been, and continues to be, supported by donations and other assistance from foreign governments such as Norway, Germany, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Japan, plus the European Union. Assistance is also being received from international organisations such as the FAO.

Through the Nansen Programme, sponsored by the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD), the research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen has been active in the South-East Atlantic since her commissioning in 1994, and is to remain in the region until at least 2002 to assist in the national programmes of Namibia and Angola, and the regional BENEFIT Programme. Dr Fridtjof Nansen is a 57-m multi-purpose vessel excellently equipped for stock assessment surveys and studies on fishing gear performance and fish behaviour. She replaces her predecessor of the same name which carried out stock assessment and environmental surveys in Namibian waters from Independence in 1990, and off Angola since 1985, in terms of an earlier phase of the Programme. The new phase, which was launched in 1993, places greater emphasis on training and capacity-building in fisheries research and management, and has recently been expanded to include the strengthening of local fisheries institutions, particularly in Namibia and Angola. With the transition to democratic rule in South Africa in 1994, the Nansen Programme established links with marine research institutions there (particularly Sea Fisheries, now M&CM), and has endeavoured to strengthen regional co-operation in fisheries research in the Benguela. In line with this, the Nansen Programme has actively supported the BENEFIT initiative since its conception, and is now a major provider of financial and material support to BENEFIT, the latter in the form of ship’s time on Dr Fridtjof Nansen and assistance from Norwegian scientists on the staff of the Institute for Marine Research (IMR), Bergen.

The German government, through GTZ, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Organisation for Technical Co-operation) has supported marine environmental research and monitoring and training in Namibia since 1993, and has also been an active supporter of the BENEFIT Programme throughout its development stages. It has recently committed funds to support BENEFIT in a number of ways over the next three years, including the funding of a number of regional environmental research activities aimed at improving understanding of the impact of the environment on the major resources of the region. In addition, the German government has funded a combined research and training cruise to the region on a chartered vessel (Petyr Kottsov) as a contribution to BENEFIT, and has promoted collaboration between regional and German scientists, mainly from the Institüt für Ostseeforschung, Warnemunde (IOW) and the Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen; collaboration which is expected to continue under the umbrella of BENEFIT.

In Angola, the Swedish and Danish International Development Agencies (SIDA and DANIDA) have in the past given considerable assistance in building infrastructure for fisheries research and development, with a particular recent emphasis on artisanal fisheries, while in Namibia, the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) has provided assistance to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), mainly in the operation of Namibian research vessels and the training of officers and crew. ICEIDA has also supported the SADC Fisheries Sector Co-ordinating Unit in Windhoek. DIFD, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (formerly ODA, the Overseas Development Agency), has developed a fisheries information system for MFMR, and is currently investigating ways of improving the collection of fisheries statistics in the whole of the Southern African region. The Japanese government built and donated R. V. Welwitschia to the Namibian government, and made a small vessel (R. V. Matsuyama Maru) and researchers available for specific research projects for a two-year period. Namibia has also received training assistance from a number of countries and donor agencies and the FAO, the latter in the form of stock assessment courses and advice by expert consultants. The FAO has also actively supported courses in South Africa.

The French government is currently supporting a bilateral study with South Africa, aimed at providing new tools and information for the regional assessment of pelagic fish resources in the Benguela. The project, code-named VIBES (Variability of exploited pelagic fish resources in the Benguela ecosystem in relation to Environment and Spatial aspects) involves collaboration between the French Research Institute for Development Co-operation (formerly ORSTOM, now IRD), M&CM, UCT and other universities and research institutes in South Africa and France. It is to be extended and expanded into the region through affiliation with the BENEFIT Programme.

The region as a whole is also to receive assistance through a three-year European Union – funded international collaborative project on environmentlal conditions and fluctuations in the distribution of small pelagic fish in the Benguela (code-named ENVIFISH). The partners are Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Germany, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the European Union Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, and the FAO. ENVIFISH will be closely linked to both BENEFIT and VIBES.
8.3 International and regional agreements and conventions
FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing
Angola and Namibia are signatories to this Agreement. South Africa is yet to sign, but has agreed in the interim to abide by its provisions.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) - South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO)
Angola, Namibia and South Africa have all ratified UNCLOS and have voted in favour of its Convention on Transboundary and Highly Migratory Stocks, and the United Nations Implementing Agreement (UIA) relating thereto. Subject to that Agreement, Angola, Namibia and South Africa, along with the United Kingdom (acting on behalf of its Dependencies; Ascension Island, St. Helena and Tristan da Cunha), have formulated the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) for the conservation and management of straddling and High Seas stocks in the South-east Atlantic. Other parties which have expressed interest in SEAFO are the European Union, Japan, Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the USA. Negotiations on this Agreement are far advanced, and will ultimately lead to regional arrangements for the management of straddling and High Seas stocks in the region. This is likely to be the first Agreement concluded under the UIA.
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic tunas (ICCAT)

Angola and South Africa are both long-standing members of ICCAT and Namibia is about to join the organisation.

The BENguela Environment Fisheries Interaction and Training (BENEFIT) Programme
BENEFIT is a regional marine research and training programme involving Angola, Namibia and South Africa, with financial and other assistance from a number of Northern Hemisphere countries which have recently been active in marine research and training in the Benguela region, such as Norway and Germany, and the African Development Bank. The Programme is aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of key commercial stocks in the Benguela (primarily hakes, horse mackerels, small pelagic fish and crustaceans) and of linkages between environmental processes and stock dynamics, with the broad objective of improving management of these resources. BENEFIT has the full support of the Angolan, Namibian and South African governments, and of SADC, all of which are represented on a Policy Committee which guides the Programme through a network of Committees and Working Groups, on each of which all three countries are represented. International scientific guidance is provided by a Scientific Advisory Panel, on which France, Germany, Norway, South Africa, USA and the United Kingdom are represented.

BENEFIT has been conceived as a ten-year programme, and will operate in terms of a locally-developed Science Plan (Shannon and Hampton 1997) which inter alia identifies the broad scientific and training problems of the participating countries, and stresses the need for a regional approach to their solution. The Programme is now underway, and the first research projects (all of which will be regional in nature) started in 1999 with assistance from the Norwegian and German governments (through NORAD and GTZ respectively). The specific training needs of the region are being identified, and contacts between local fisheries research organisations and tertiary education establishments are being strengthened with a view to developing an integrated regional training programme for BENEFIT. In addition, in mid-1999 the African Development Bank sponsored a 40-day BENEFIT training cruise in the region on R. S. Africana, which provided training in marine science to other African countries in addition to the BENEFIT partners.

It is envisaged that there will be close links between the BENEFIT and BCLME Programmes which, although differing in emphasis and scope, will be mutually complementary.
8.4 Management measures for major resources
Pelagic fisheries
In Angola, sardinellas, horse mackerels and sardine have been assessed acoustically since 1985 from first the original, and then the new Dr Fridtjof Nansen (see estimates in Figs. 14, 17 and 20). In the absence of reliable catch statistics for these species, IIP has based management recommendations solely on trends in the survey estimates. The fisheries are managed by TAC, with no distinction between the two sardinella or two horse mackerel species. At a recent international workshop on the management of small pelagic fish in Angola, Congo and Gabon, attempts were made to estimate MSY for the region’s sardinella and T. trecae stocks using surplus production models for the former and an age-structured model for the latter. CPUE indices needed in these models were derived indirectly from the acoustic survey data and information on total catches. The sardinella models (which were considered to be more reliable than the horse mackerel model) placed the MSY at more than double the catch in recent years (around 60 000 tonnes) suggesting that these species are curently underexploited. In contrast, the horse mackerel model suggested that the current level of catch of around 60 000 tonnes per annum is approaching the species’ sustainable level. The Workshop emphasised, inter alia, the need for reliable direct CPUE indices for all the species considered, the collection of fleet and country-specific length frequency data, and the need for an effective monitoring, control and surveillance system in Angola and its northern neighbours.

Prior to Independence in 1990, the management of pelagic fish in Namibia (primarily sardine and anchovy), was based on stock assessments by South African scientists, derived from CPUE indices, aerial and acoustic surveys and VPA of commercial catch data, supported by trends in the diets and breeding success of predators, and in guano production. Since Independence there have only been TAC restrictions on sardine and, in recent years, juvenile horse mackerel. Anchovy catches are however restricted somewhat by a closed season and limits on the by-catch of sardine. Recommendations on the sardine TAC have been based on acoustic/midwater trawl surveys conducted by first the old, then the new Dr Fridtjof Nansen, and the MFMR research vessels Benguela and Welwitschia. Extensive use is made of fishing vessels as scouts to find shoal groups and check that fish have not been missed close inshore or outside the surveyed area. Attempts have also been made by NatMIRC to deduce population trends in sardine from VPA and length-based cohort analysis of commercial data, but this work has been severely hampered by the unreliability of the ageing techniques used and insufficient information on population parameters. Consequently, the results have not yet been considered in management recommendations. At present, the recommended TAC for the forthcoming season is taken as 18 % of the survey estimate at the end of the previous fishing season, with subsequent adjustments if surveys during the season indicate unusually high or low recruitment, growth or mortality. This procedure has enabled management authorities to react to major resource fluctuations but, as has been emphasised at a recent international workshop on research and management of the Namibian sardine (Anon. 1997b), there is a pressing need for more rigorous stock assessment modelling, using all appropriate data, as the foundation for management decisions.

In South Africa, the most important pelagic resources (i.e sardine, anchovy and round herring) have been routinely surveyed acoustically since the mid 1980s, with surveys of recruitment in winter and spawning biomass in summer (e.g. Hampton 1992, 1996). Between 1984 and 1993, the anchovy spawning biomass was also estimated annually by egg surveys, using the daily egg-production method; a method which is now being considered for sardine. The survey estimates of sardine and anchovy spawning biomass and recruitment strength, and of the precision of these estimates, are used together with (in the case of sardine) estimates of the population age structure from commercial data, to model the risk to the stocks of various harvesting strategies, and hence to recommend TACs for sardine and anchovy. This process is carried out through a Pelagic Working Group, with input from Sea Fisheries survey personnel, modellers from the Department of Applied Mathematics, UCT and M&CM, environmentalists and, on occasion, the pelagic fishing industry. The current strategy is to manage the sardine and anchovy fisheries together and interactively in such a way as to optimise the sardine catches, while heeding the needs of the anchovy fishermen, who frequently catch juvenile sardine as a by-catch. There are at present no direct restrictions on the round herring fishery, because the resource is not thought to be threatened by the comparatively low levels of catch (typically less than 50 000 tonnes per year from a stock which has consistently been estimated acoustically at about 1 million tonnes).
Trawl fisheries

Hake off Angola (Merluccius polli and, in the extreme south, M. capensis), have been investigated in the course of various bottom-trawl surveys conducted by R. V. Goa between 1970 and 1992, the old and new Dr Fridtjof Nansen between 1984 and the present, and recently, by chartered fishing vessels. As a part of these studies, the other major groups of demersal species in Angolan waters (dentex, croakers and groupers) have also been investigated. In the absence of reliable fisheries statistics for any of these species in Angolan waters, stock assessments and TAC recommendations have been based on trends in the survey estimates using holistic models. With improvement of commercial catch information, it will be possible to incorporate CPUE data into the analysis. Separate TACs are set for the two hake species and for different groups of other demersal fish. Other forms of control include effort limitation, the prohibition of trawling close to the coast, and minimum size limits.

Between 1975 and 1989, the assessment and management of Namibian hake stocks was carried out under the auspices of ICSEAF. Various surplus production models based on catch and effort data from the Soviet and Spanish fleets were used in the assessments. The fishery was managed by mesh regulations and limits on the TAC, which was apportioned between nations according to their historic interest and performance in the fishery. Since Namibia’s declaration of an EEZ in 1990, and the subsequent withdrawal of foreign fleets, the hake TAC has been based on biomass estimates obtained from Dr Fridtjof Nansen bottom trawl surveys, in which Norwegian and Namibian staff participate. To these estimates are added acoustic estimates of hake off the bottom. The surveys produce estimates of the fishable (> 35 cm) and non-fishable (<35 cm) components of the population for both M. capensis and M. paradoxus. Trends in the survey estimates of the adult stock and of recruitment strength are combined with CPUE indices of trends in the adult stock to recommend annual adjustments in the TAC. Previously, the recommendation was set at 20% of the estimated fishable stock, but a new Operational Management Procedure, in which the TAC is adjusted according to the average change in the survey and CPUE indices for the previous 5 years (Butterworth and Geromont 1997), has recently been recommended as an interim measure until the question of whether the survey estimates can be treated as absolute has been resolved. (Treating them as absolute indicates that the resource is currently heavily depleted, in conflict with a number of different production models, which indicate the opposite – Anon. 1997c. The discrepancy is resolved if the survey estimates are treated as relative rather than absolute).

M. capensis and M. paradoxus in South African waters are assessed as one for management purposes, using commercial data in a locally-developed dynamic Schaefer-form production model, which since 1989 has included multiple CPUE series, and is tuned by data from research swept-area surveys using bottom trawls. Recently, the Fox form of production model has been applied, and advances made in incorporating age structure for the hake stock on the South Coast, where the trawl and linefisheries select different age components of the population (Geromont et al. 1999). The assessments are carried out by M&CM, with modelling assistance from the Department of Applied Mathematics, UCT. The group together makes annual TAC recommendations through a Demersal Working Group, which liaises with the demersal industry when and where appropriate. The survey estimates used in the assessments are obtained from annual swept-area bottom trawl surveys of the West and South Coasts from R. S. Africana, using pseudo-random depth-stratified sampling. The estimates are treated as relative because of difficulty in quantifying catchability coefficients. Research is currently directed at refining the assessments by using Generalised Linear Models to improve the validity of the CPUE time series, investigating the effect of wind stress on commercial catch rates, and disaggregating the commercial catch by species so that a species-specific VPA can be performed.

Since 1984, assessment of Cape and Cunene horse mackerel in Angolan waters has mainly been done from acoustic surveys conducted by the old and the new Dr Fridtjof Nansen, most of them as extensions to Namibian surveys. Information relevant to stock assessment has also been collected during R. V. Goa cruises between 1972 and 1992, as well as from collaborative resource studies with the Atlantic Research Institute for Fisheries and Oceanography (ATLANTNIRO) of the former USSR. As with other commercial species in Angola, catch statistics on the horse mackerel fishery are inadequate for assessment and management of the fishery, and TACs (for the two species combined) are based on trends in the survey estimates .
In Namibia, adult horse mackerel were assessed and managed from 1980 to 1989 according to TACs set by ICSEAF agreements, based on Schaefer and Fox surplus production models applied to catch data from the international midwater trawl fishery. No distinction was made between Cape and Cunene horse mackerel, although the former dominated in the catches. TACs were allocated between interested nations by ICSEAF in a similar manner to the hake TACs. Since 1990, when the fishery came under Namibian control, TACs for the midwater trawl fishery have been based on MFMR recommendations, made according to trends in acoustic survey estimates, recently supported by length-based and age-based VPA estimates, obtained using commercial catch data. The reliability of horse mackerel ageing techniques needs to be substantially improved before the age-based VPA estimates can be used with greater confidence.

In South Africa, the lack of a reliable age-structured catch and CPUE data series has hampered attempts at producing reliable stock assessments of T. trachurus capensis. A surplus production model, based on CPUE indices, egg-density data and abundance indices from direct surveys, was used to assess the resource on the South Coast between 1989 and 1991 and recommend TACs through the Demersal Working Group. The first TAC (30 000 tonnes) was set in 1990. These assessments were discontinued in 1991 when withdrawal of the Japanese vessels terminated the CPUE time series. Since 1993 a Beddington and Cooke-type yield-per-recruit model, based primarily on bottom-trawl survey estimates has been used to set a precautionary catch limit. The estimates are obtained from surveys on Africana which are biased to a highly variable degree because of spatial and temporal variations in the availability of horse mackerel to bottom trawls. To reduce this bias, acoustic techniques are now being introduced to estimate the portion of the population on the South Coast which is inaccesible to the bottom trawl (Barange et al. 1998).

Management of the deep-water fisheries off Namibia is based on TAC recommendations from the Namibian Deep Water Fisheries Working Group to the Namibian Sea Fishery Advisory Council. The Working Group consists of MFMR scientists and industry representatives, and receives input from a number of foreign scientific and industry consultants. For orange roughy, management is based on a population model which uses acoustic and swept-area survey estimates of abundance on the three main grounds, and swept-area estimates of abundance on these grounds from commercial catches throughout the season, to recommend TACs for each of the grounds. The current policy for the fishery is to have a fishing-down period at a constant catch, followed by a gradual reduction in catches to a level likely to provide MSY. No TACs have been recommended for the Alfonsino fishery because of the low level of catch. This situation will be reviewed should the annual catch rise above 2 000 tonnes.
The monkfish fishery in Namibia is at present managed by effort control, mesh-size limits and by-catch penalties on catches of monkfish by hake trawlers, which in recent years have made up more than 30% of the monkfish catch. Recently there has been pressure to move to a catch-limited control system.
Crustacean fisheries

West Coast rock lobster resources in Namibia and South Africa are assessed and managed according to various population models. In Namibia, a Schaefer surplus production model based on annual catch and effort data is used to recommend TACs and minimum size limits, with the assumption that the stock at the start of the time series (1958) was 40% of pristine. Fishing is controlled by limits on the TAC per area, a prohibited area and closed season, minimum size and bag limits, and various restrictions on catch methods. Stock assessment-related research being conducted by MFMR staff in Lüderitz includes investigation into the effects of migrations on sex ratios, the estimation of growth rates through tagging studies, and studies on the effect of environmental conditions (particularly oxygen levels) on CPUE indices.

In South Africa, the J. lalandii resource has been assessed and managed since 1992/93 through a size-based population model which uses data on growth rates, size structure and sex ratios in catches, CPUE and total landings. Results from a Fisheries-Independent Monitoring Survey have also been used. The model, which has been modified and updated a number of times since its inception, is used to make recommendations on TACs for the commercial fishery, and on a minimum size limit. The catch is also controlled by a closed season, prohibited areas, a bag limit and other restrictions on recreational fishermen. Very recently, a new Operational Management Procedure has been introduced to facilitate TAC recommendations. The input data required are the TAC from the previous year, and three of the indices of resource status (averaged over the three previous seasons), which were used previously in the size-based model (Anon. 1998b).
The management of deep-sea red crab in Namibia is based on length-based cohort analysis and prediction models, adapted to fit the growth dynamics of the species, using growth rates established by tagging (Le Roux 1997). The models are used to project future stock size as a function of catch, from which TACs are recommended. The catch is also controlled by limits on minimum size and the prohibition of fishing inside the 400m isobath. Management of the resource in Angola is based on CPUE trends and estimates of MSY, using estimates of natural mortality from a number of different sources. Catches are controlled by TAC, effort control, prohibition of fishing inside 500m to protect juveniles and immature females, a minimum size limit and limitation of the crab by-catch in the prawn fishery.

The deep-water prawn fishery off Angola is managed on the basis of trawl survey estimates and CPUE trends, which are used in a simplified Beverton and Holt model to recommend TACs for rose prawn and striped red prawn. Other forms of control include the prohibition of fishing within certain inshore areas to protect juveniles, a closed season and effort limitation /reduction.

There are effectively no restrictions on catches in the large artisanal fishery in Angola, partly because of the difficulty in enforcing regulations. Consideration has however been given to protecting the interests of small-scale fishermen by prohibiting trawling close to the coast, which can severely disrupt small-scale fishing operations. The issue has not been resolved and remains a source of conflict between industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal fishermen in Angola.
Management of the tuna fisheries in Angola and South Africa is carried out in line with ICCAT regulations. Although not yet a member of ICCAT, Namibia is also following these regulations, and implements effort control over both national and foreign vessels. The commercial line fishery for snoek and angling species in Namibia is at present unrestricted, but recreational catches of angling species are controlled by closed areas and bag limits.

In South Africa there is a comprehensive suite of linefish management regulations developed by the National Marine Linefish Committee, which was set up in 1984. These include regulations on the licensing and number of permits for commercial fishing boats, bag limits by species category for all recreational and part-time commercial fishermen, closed seasons for certain species, and minimum size limits for the most important ones. After 1985 the Committee was superseded by an independent body; the South African Marine Linefish Management Association (SAMLMA), which has provided advice on modifications of the original measures. The new Marine Living Resources Act of 1998 retains most of the past measures, with some changes in the commercial permit system and the institution of a “Subsistence” fishing category, in which fishermen are subject to bag limits but permitted to sell their catches. Recreational fishermen are also now obliged for the first time to obtain an angling permit, although as before, will not be permitted to sell their catches. Continuing reduction in the abundance of most linefish species has led to the development of a holistic mangement protocol for linefish, which is currently being taken forward.


The Namibian seal harvest is primarily controlled through limitations on the annual TAC, with separate allowances for pups and bulls and for the different colonies. TAC recommendations are based on aerial censuses and estimates of biological parameters for the population (fecundity rate, mortality of pups and adults, sex ratios etc.), which are used in a deterministic, age-structured model of the female component of the population to predict ideal harvesting levels for maintaining sustainable yields. The total seal harvest in recent years (which has not always reached the TAC) has varied between 17 000 animals in 1991 and 38 000 animals in 1994, with pups contributing about 80% of the harvest in all years.

There are a number of broad gaps in scientific understanding of the dynamics of the Benguela Current’s marine resources which inhibit rational, optimal management of these resources in all three countries. The major problems have been identified in the Draft BENEFIT Science and Implementation Plan (Shannon and Hampton 1996), and are the focus of a recently-developed framework for resources research within the Programme (Anon. 1998d). Briefly, they can be summarised as:
Inadequate definition of stocks and understanding of factors affecting the separation and/or interchange between them, especially for stocks which are shared between countries or move between them, such as hake, horse mackerel, red crab and, to some degree, certain pelagic fish species. Lack of this information makes it difficult to manage these resources on a national basis and is likely to complicate any attempts at regional management.

Inaccurate or non-existent information on basic biological characteristics such as growth and natural mortality rates, reproductive characteristics, recruitment variability and population age structure for most of the harvested species. These are important input parameters for population dynamics models used in the region (which are themselves often inadequate). A particular problem for most species is the inadequacy and lack of validation of ageing techniques.

Inadequate absolute estimates of population size and questionable indices of population trends for most of the exploited species, due to deficiencies in the methods used to obtain these estimates. Furthermore, few attempts have been made to assess the accuracy or precision of the estimates, making it difficult to assess their value.
The lack of Operational Management Procedures based on population models for many of the major resources is seen locally as a serious problem, precluding any meaningful form of risk analysis or quantitative evaluation of harvesting strategies for these resources. This is a particular problem in Angola, and to a lesser extent, Namibia.
Inability to predict the effect of environmental perturbations on resource dynamics for any species with sufficient confidence for the predictions to be used quantitatively in resource management.
Those of the above which are trans-boundary problems in resource management are summarised in Table 3. Included in the Table is an indication of the immediate and root cause of each of the problems listed. It will be noted that the root cause of many of the problems is the lack of regional agreements and structures for research and management of shared resources, and the shortage of manpower and funds to undertake trans-boundary surveys and other trans-boundary research activities.



Immediate cause

Root cause

Management of

hakes (South Africa/ Namibia)

Inadequate information on identity of M. capensis and M. paradoxus stocks in southern Benguela

Lack of trans-boundary surveys

Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures under which trans-boundary surveys could be organised. Shortage of funds and manpower for surveys

Inadequate understanding of life history (spawning areas, larval dispersal patterns, migration of juveniles and adults etc.)

Lack of ichthyoplankton surveys and migration studies in both Namibia and South Africa

Shortage of funds and manpower for surveys and data analysis. Low priority given to ichthyoplankton work. Lack of structures for organising trans-boundary surveys and collaborative migration studies

Questionable comparability of stock estimates in Namibia and South Africa

Different survey techniques, sampling gear and ageing methods. Different interpretations of commercial catch data

Inadequate intercalibration and comparison of techniques. Lack of regional structures for standardising methods

No unified Operational Management Procedure

or common exploitation control methods

Different approaches to management and exploit-ation control in the two countries, and different level of modelling skills

Different national exploitation policies and constraints. Lack of structures for regional resource management. Shortage of modellers, particularly within NatMIRC

Inadequate under-standing of effects of trans-boundary environ-mental perturbations on abundance, distribution, behaviour and production

Lack of studies on interaction between hake and their environment on appropriate scales

Shortage of funds, vessels and staff for appropriate monitoring and dedicated behavioural studies

Management of horse mackerels (Angola/Namibia/South Africa)

Inadequate knowledge of integrity of T. trachurus capensis stock(s) off west coast of southern Africa

Shortage of trans-boundary surveys, particularly in southern Benguela. Limitations of stock characterisation studies

Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures for joint surveys. Shortage of funds and staff for surveys. Shortage of skills in genetics and other stock characterisation techniques

Inadequate understand-ing of spawning and larval dispersal patterns, particularly in southern Namibia, and of adult migration in this region

Lack of ichthyoplankton surveys and migration studies throughout the region

Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures for trans-boundary ichthyoplankton surveys. Shortage of funds and manpower for data collection and analysis

Questionable comparability of stock estimates in South Africa and Namibia/Angola

Different survey techniques, sampling gear and ageing methods. Differences in methods of collecting and interpreting commercial catch data

Inadequate intercalibration and comparison of techniques. Lack of regional agreement(s) for standardising methods, and of funds and manpower for data collection and analysis



Immediate cause

Root cause

Management of horse mackerels (cont).

Inadequate understanding of effects of large-scale environmental perturbations on abundance, distribution, behaviour and production

Lack of studies on interaction between horse mackerel and their environment on appropriate scales

Shortage of funds, vessels and manpower for appropriate monitoring and dedicated behavioural studies

Management of sardine (Angola/ Namibia/South Africa) and anchovy ( South Africa/Namibia)

Inadequate information on the degree of mixing between Namibian and South African sardine and anchovy stocks, and on the extent to which the Namibian sardine stock extends into Angola.

Shortage of surveys across national boundaries at different times of the year

Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures under which trans-boundary surveys could be organised. Shortage of funds and manpower for surveys

Inadequate understanding of spawning and larval dispersal patterns of sardine in Namibia and southern Angola

Lack of ichthyoplankton surveys in southern Angola and northern Namibia (in recent times), and lack of studies on sardine migration in the northern Benguela

Lack of funds and manpower for data collection and analysis

Inadequate understanding of physical and biological factors affecting the penetration of the South African anchovy stock into Namibia and the Namibian sardine stock into Angola

Lack of integrated surveys and environmental studies on pelagic fish in vicinity of national boundary

Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures for setting up such studies. Shortage of funds and manpower for surveys and data analysis

Management of Deep-sea red crab (Angola/Namibia)

Inadequate knowledge of migration of stock between Namibia and Angola

Lack of trans-boundary surveys at different times of the year. Limited tagging and other migration studies

Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures for setting up trans-boundary surveys. Shortage of funds and manpower for surveys and tagging studies

Questionable compara-bility of stock estimates in Angola and Namibia

Different survey and assessment techniques

Inadequate comparison and standard-isation of techniques. Lack of regional agreement(s) and structures for promoting standardisation

Different management and exploitation control methods in Angola and Namibia

Lack of common management and harvesting strategy

Lack of regional agreement(s) for joint management and exploitation control

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