Aquaculture is defined as the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and plants in controlled or selected aquatic environments, with some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated.
The main objectives of the Chief Directorate Aquaculture and Economic Development is to develop a sustainable and competitive sector that will contribute meaningfully to job creation, economic development, sustainable livelihood, food security, rural development and transformation in South Africa. The aquaculture sector is divided into two sectors namely: Marine aquaculture, which includes species such as abalones, mussels, oyster, dusky kob and seaweed; and Freshwater aquaculture, which include species such as carp, catfish, koi carp, marron, crayfish, tilapia and trout. The aquaculture sector is also managed by different directorates within the Fisheries branch. The Directorate Aquaculture Technical Services manages aquaculture advisory services, economics, information, development, infrastructure and facilities. The Directorate Sustainable Aquaculture Management helps with aquaculture authorization, environmental assessments, food safety, aquatic animal health and intergovernmental and policy coordination of the sector. The Directorate Aquaculture Research and Development is responsible for diversification and competitiveness and sustainable production.