African Penguin Decline

African Penguin Population Decline

SAPFIA shares in the concern about the continued decline in the numbers of African penguins. For this reason, SAPFIA is committed to participating in the scientific process initiated by the Department of Forestry

Pelagic fish resources are important for both the fishery and for the predators

The pelagic fishery in South Africa is a purse-seine fishery based predominantly on anchovy, sardine and redeye herring with these species contributing typically more than 95% of the catch.

Appropriate steps can be taken to halt and reverse the decline

It is urgent therefore that targeted scientific research be carried out to determine the cause of the decline in the penguin population so that appropriate steps can be taken to halt and reverse the decline.

The penguin breeding population is in a very depleted state

The small pelagic fishery is a major contributor to food security through direct human consumption (e.g., canned fish) or indirect human consumption

Penguins naturally breed in burrows in deep guano deposits

Habitat destruction which occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries may still be playing a role in the penguin population decline.

SAPFIA members represent about 80% of the total small pelagic fish landed in South Africa.

Targeted species are anchovy and sardine, managed by the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) set by the Department of Forestry,

The Fishery in general and Canned Pilchards in particular play a vital role in local food security

It is estimated that at least 800 000 cans of canned pilchards are consumed daily providing 3,2 million meals. Canned pilchards are also widely used in school feeding schemes.