History of SAPFIA

Prior to 1995 the affairs of the small pelagic fishing industry were organised through a number of industry associations. These included:

  • SA Fish Meal Producers Association (Pty) Ltd
  • SA Fish Meal Marketing Co (Pty) Ltd
  • SA Fish Oil Producers Association (Pty) Ltd
  • SA Fish Oil Marketing Co (Pty) Ltd
  • Federal Marine Ltd

These producer and marketing organizations were involved in the following activities:

  • Co-ordination, in consultation with departments of the South African government, of production and marketing of the products.
  • Safeguarding the industry’s interests on such matters as legislation concerning conservation of the fish resources, the maintenance of suitable and satisfied fishing and labour forces, tariffs both in South Africa and as applicable to the industries’ products in foreign markets and for discussion of matters of policy and mutual concern to all members.
  • Selling of the fishmeal, fish oil and canned fish on local and export markets, arranging shipping, collecting the proceeds and distributing them amongst members.

In order to promote a competitive environment in the industry these producer and marketing organizations, on the prompting of Government, were disbanded and members involved were required to behave in accordance with the Competition Act.

This resulted in the formation of the South African Pelagic Fishing Industry Association (SAPFIA), an association of Rights Holders in the Small Pelagic Sector.

At the AGM on 3 November 1998, the Constitution of SAPFIA was approved and it was agreed to make an application to the then Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism that SAPFIA be recognized as an Industrial Body in terms of the MLRA Act of 1998.


  • Mr A Esau from 3 November 1998 to 7 October 2008
  • Mr S J Malherbe from 2 December 2008 to 14 July 2009
  • Mr R D de Villiers from 4 August 2009 to 3 November 2009
  • Mr M D Copeland from 3 November 2009 to 10 July 2012
  • Mr R D de Villiers from 10 July 2012 to 22 August 2017
  • Mr M D Copeland from 22 August 2017 to CURRENT

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The South African Pelagic Fishing Industry Association (SAPFIA) is a legally recognised industrial body which represents a large number of Rights Holder who hold approximately 67% of sardine rights and 70% of anchovy rights in the small pelagic fishing sector.

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1st Floor, Harbour Place.
7 Martin Hammerschlag Way,
Foreshore, Cape Town, ZA

+27 21 425 2727

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