Creating sustainable fisheries | WWF South Africa
©: Thomas P. Peschak

Fishing responsibly and balancing our impacts on the oceans will enable us to maintain productive fish stocks that can help feed an ever growing population, and ensure healthy oceans.  For this reason it is vital that all fishing activities, from recreational to commercial to small-scale, are managed within ecological limits.

This is why WWF works with regulators and fishing industry stakeholders, as well as local communities in the small-scale fisheries sector. In 2009, WWF formed the Responsible Fisheries Alliance with some of the key commercial fisheries stakeholders. This world-first alliance between fishing companies and environmental NGOs has since implemented a number of important projects to address environmental, social and economic challenges facing the  development of a responsible seafood supply chain in South Africa.

In the small-scale sector, WWF is piloting an improvement action plan with a local fishing community in the Overberg region. This pilot aims to demonstrate an effective process for implementing the South African small-scale fisheries policy by bringing together coastal stakeholders from local communities, municipalities, regulators and conservation agencies as well as restaurants and retailers to a point where they collectively agree on a plan for the sustainable management of marine resources in the region. An effective plan needs to incorporate more than just fisheries regulations and marine protected areas and must also consider important social concerns such as improved market opportunities and alternative livelihoods.

WWF also undertakes a number of fishery specific initiatives and species improvement projects to enable the fishery to reach a level of performance consistent with the sustainable fisheries standards such as the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) standard for sustainable wild capture fisheries. WWF ultimately aims to create sustainable fisheries by incentivising improved performance by ensuring responsibly managed fisheries that will provide long-term socio-economic and environmental benefits for all South Africans.

Our projects


Text 2

Our oceans are becoming ever more crowded spaces, and with this growing pressure come a number of environmental and social impacts as well as complex challenges. Read more here.

The seafood supply chain, from where it was caught to where it is eventually eaten, includes everything from catching, transporting, trading, processing, and packaging to selling of seafood through retailers and in restaurants. Read more here.

WWF-SASSI was initiated in collaboration with networking partners in 2004 to educate those in the seafood trade from wholesalers to restaurateurs through to seafood lovers about what sustainable seafood is. This is primarily achieved through the development of a seafood sustainability ‘traffic light’ system that divides species into Green-list (sustainable choice), Orange-list (think twice) and Red-list (avoid). Read more here.

Although the oceans play a critical role in regulating our climate and providing food and other services, less than 4% are formally protected compared to some 15% of our terrestrial areas. Read more here.