EDITORIAL | Protecting our perlemoen

PREMIUM

Perlemoen aquaculture projects in place in the Bay, coupled with the dismantling of one of the Eastern Cape’s biggest poaching syndicates here earlier in 2019, have every potential to help us win the battle against continued illegal plundering of our oceans for this delicacy.
Perlemoen aquaculture projects in place in the Bay, coupled with the dismantling of one of the Eastern Cape’s biggest poaching syndicates here earlier in 2019, have every potential to help us win the battle against continued illegal plundering of our oceans for this delicacy.
At a time when there is much concern about proposed fish farming in the Bay, and rightly so, it is encouraging to see carefully considered shore-based perlemoen farms and the newer off-shore “ranching” initiatives delivering real results and continued promise.
Ranching is particularly interesting as it involves the growing of hatchery-reared perlemoen – of the actual species that naturally belongs in our waters – in areas previously decimated by poaching.
The distinguishing feature here is that the perlemoen projects, both on-shore and the off-shore pilots, are underpinned by long-term and continued scientific research rooted in concern for the marine environment.
As a result, perlemoen aquaculture has quietly been booming – and in the process is helping to counter poaching, create jobs and generate a lucrative blue economy revenue stream.
What these projects are also successfully illustrating is that it is possible to find the increasingly difficult balance between marine conservation and the ever-pressing need for jobs and revenue.
SA’s shore-based perlemoen farms are now exporting some 2,000 tons of produce annually to China, bringing in R1.2bn a year for the 12 farms in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape.
Already more than 2,000 quality jobs have been created in economically depressed coastal areas – surely a suggestion that long-term sustainability is entirely possible.
And this could just be the beginning.
Ranching is particularly interesting as it involves the growing of hatchery-reared perlemoen – of the actual species that naturally belongs in our waters – in areas previously decimated by poaching.
The distinguishing feature here is that the perlemoen projects, both on-shore and the off-shore pilots, are underpinned by long-term and continued scientific research rooted in concern for the marine environment.
As a result, perlemoen aquaculture has quietly been booming – and in the process is helping to counter poaching, create jobs and generate a lucrative blue economy revenue stream.
What these projects are also successfully illustrating is that it is possible to find the increasingly difficult balance between marine conservation and the ever-pressing need for jobs and revenue.
SA’s shore-based perlemoen farms are now exporting some 2,000 tons of produce annually to China, bringing in R1.2bn a year for the 12 farms in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape.
Already more than 2,000 quality jobs have been created in economically depressed coastal areas – surely a suggestion that long-term sustainability is entirely possible.
And this could just be the beginning...

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