South Africa: Blue Economy - Mariculture Is Not the Panacea Some Believe It to Be

opinion

Plans to use fish farming as a way to lift the country out of the economic ghetto took a beating at a recent marine science session.

As a growing number of young South Africans swell the jobless queue, authorities have taken to talking with increasing fervour of the sea and the potential of the "Blue Economy".

It's one of those catchy phrases, a bit like "Radical Economic Transformation", that can mean all things to all people but often adds up to little more than sound and fury.

It is bandied about in official documents or dropped into speeches by ministers and other heavy hitters to describe a multibillion-rand purse just waiting -- the public are told -- to be prised from the ocean's clutches.

To make this happen, the government is backing Operation Phakisa, an elaborate planning framework.

Operation Phakisa brings under its roof diverse and competing interests: Gas and oil exploration, commercial fishing,...

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