For Immediate Attention
02 August 2023


SCTIE consults with national department to uncover potential in KZN South Coast’s fishing sector

The local fishing sector, from small-scale fishing to commercial ventures, is beginning to reap the rewards of a successful Sardine Run in 2023 with netting taking place since the start of June. This annual ocean spectacle, which is also an important element for the tourism economy, is just one of the aspects contributing towards the region’s fishing sector, with more potential set to be uncovered.

“With established operators like ADCAN Marine Suppliers and Tightline Fisheries, the KZN South Coast is becoming a key contributor to the commercial fishery sector, supplying the hospitality and retail industries with quality seafood, but we feel more opportunity exists in terms of the international export market,” commented Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “With the Ocean Economy a key sector for investment, we have been consulting with the Department of Forest, Fisheries and Environment [DFFE] – which has a satellite office based in Port Edward – to pick up on trends in the fishing sector and uncover potential opportunities.”

The KZN South Coast makes up 120km of the 3 000km South African coastline, extending from Scottburgh to Port Edward. These warm Indian Ocean waters are incredibly productive, with hake, tuna, snoek and the famous sardines commercially fished from these shores. According to ADCAN Marine Suppliers, they process around three tonnes of sardines a day during the winter months, for around six weeks, at their own processing unit. The waters are also home to another high-value species, the East Coast rock lobster, which is harvested here.

Recreational fishing also remains a strong drawcard with visitors attracted to the KZN South Coast’s many fishing hotspots, as well as chartering boats for a day of deep-sea fishing. The region’s three Marine Protected Areas also attract an abundance of marine life including rays, skates, sharks, dolphins, and whales. This is recognised as a valuable resource for adventure and ecotourism with snorkelling, freediving, scuba diving, and shark cage diving all popular ocean activities.

The region also supports a large small-scale fishing sector, with 7 (seven) registered small-scale co-operatives – 5 (five) based in Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality and 2 (two) in Umzumbe Local Municipality. Compliance is overseen by DFFE, which indicated that these local fisheries export a large portion of the marine food harvested to other countries, something which has largely declined since the pandemic, with the international demand from Asia impacted.

This decline in demand, as well as the notable decline in the quantity of fish harvested by local fishers, has prompted a proposal by the DFFE to conduct a pilot study to ascertain the possible contributing factors. Certainly, some of the challenges facing local suppliers attempting to export marine products include high tariffs, quality standards, and restrictions on the provision of permits. SCTIE and DFFE have also noted the deterioration of fishing fleets and processing infrastructure, a shortage of skilled personnel with business acumen; and an educational gap that is leading to non-compliance in fishing regulations and a rise in illegal fishing.

“We are seeking to address these challenges at a provincial and national level so as to unlock the economic potential of the ocean economy even further,” continued Mangcu. “This is being realised through Operation Phakisa which is assisting maritime businesses to realise the full potential of our Ocean Economy, while at a local level, we’re achieving these goals through the launch of our Buy Local campaign which encourages the support of local fisheries and ocean-based businesses.”

To become a Buy Local member or find out more, visit the Buy Local tag at or click here for a membership form. To find out more about these and more investment opportunities, get in touch with SCTIE, the KZN South Coast’s One-Stop Shop for investment. Contact SCTIE on 039 682 7944, email or visit

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About South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE)

SCTIE was established as the official economic development arm of the KZN South Coast which extends from Scottburgh to Port Edward, and inland to Harding. It is a legal entity of the Ugu District Municipality with executive powers, serving the Ugu District and its family of municipalities. The entity is committed to identifying and unlocking the full tourism and investment potential of this region. SCTIE achieves its mandate of promoting investment through dedicated marketing initiatives, product development, business support and training, dedicated networking events, and breaking down barriers to local investment. From the coast to the hinterland, the KZN South Coast has a wealth of untapped investment potential for those who are looking to branch out into the district and uncover opportunities. The attractive location, subtropical climate, natural assets and accessibility make the KZN South Coast a prime investment destination. By engaging with local and international role players, SCTIE seeks to assist investors looking to uncover hidden gems across various economic sectors, including tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, logistics and transport, and the ocean economy, among others. For more information, visit


Issued on behalf of:
South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE)

Disseminated by:
Olivia Jones Communications

For more information please contact:
Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720