The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has signed a statement of intent on cooperation with the Russia during the 5th BRICS summit in Durban. In total, nine agreements were signed by different Ministers. Cooperation will be in the field of fisheries.
No fisheries products are exported by South Africa to Russia at the moment. The statement of intent recognises the importance of technical and economic cooperation among developing countries through the exchange of information, experience and research in the field of fisheries as beneficial to the interests of our country and the citizens of Russia.
Said the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, "As South Africa hosts the 5th BRICS summit, there is mounting pressure on us to not just have a talk show. We have to gear our energy towards ensuring that the agreements that we sign among our partners will be converted into action. This agreement will be beneficial to South Africa for a number of reasons, including capacitating human capital through training opportunities and combating unregulated fishing. Poaching has major repercussions for the sustainability of our resources."
The statement of intent was signed for the conclusion of a future agreement on cooperation in the field of fisheries based on conservation and rational use of living marine resources, prevention, deterrence and elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, exchange of information and data on the fisheries-related issues, which are of interest to both parties, cooperation in matters concerning the activities of the international fisheries organisations, fisheries research and development of scientific programs, aquaculture development, education and training of specialists to meet the needs of the fishing industry, development of joint projects in fisheries, processing and marketing of fish products.
South Africa has a list of top ten agriculture and forestry products that are exported to Russia. Among them include, fresh oranges, fresh grapes, grapefruit and apples.
South African fisheries are a major contributor to our country's economy. The commercial sector contributes roughly R6 billion into the economy and creates thousands of jobs.