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MosselbayonTheline | First With The News

The Mossel Bay public and affected stakeholders only have till 25 March 2019 to register as affected parties in order to complain or give their input regarding a proposed fish meal and fish oil reduction facility on I&J's old premises on Quay 1 of the Mossel Bay harbour.

Afro Fishing (Pty) Ltd. apparently wants to harvest industrial fish species such as anchovy, red-eye, etc. from local waters to produce fish meal and fish oil for the international export market.

This application by Afro Fishing is one of many industries currently considered by the Western Cape Government to boost the Southern Cape's economy and employment rate.

But at what cost to the environment and local residents? If PetroSA, ESKOM and almost every governmental department are bankrupt and under investigation for fraud, incompetence, and corruption, what are the guarantees that a stinky fish meal factory next to other businesses and tourist attractions in Mossel Bay's harbour will be managed and policed well? 

fish meal

Photo: Dirty fishmeal production in Nouadhibou, Mauritania


22 FEBRUARY 2019


Cape Environmental Assessment Practitioners (Cape EAPrac) has been appointed as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) to facilitate the legally required Environmental Application Process in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA, Act No 107 of 1998 as amended), the 2014 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations & the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEM:AQA, Act 39 of 2004), for the proposed development of a fish meal and fish oil reduction facility on the old I&J properties on Quay 1 of the Mossel Bay Harbour on behalf of the Applicant, Afro Fishing (Pty) Ltd.

The competent authority, in this case, is the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP): George office and the Garden Route District Municipality.

This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Application takes cognisance of the following legislation:

 National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) & the 2014 NEMA EIA Regulations (as amended);

 National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act;  National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act (NEM: ICMA);

 Western Cape Land Use Planning Act; and

 Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act. Project Proposal (preferred alternative)

The expansion of the current Afro Fishing facility to include fish meal and oil reduction processes is proposed on the current footprint of the old I&J facility, with a new canning store adjacent to the current Afro Fishing store.

The proposal entails the harvesting of industrial fish, e.g. anchovy, red-eye, etc., from local waters for the sole purpose of producing fishmeal and fish oil.

The expansion project will include the following:

1. Fish meal and oil reduction plant

2. Fish freezing plant

3. Cold store

4. Fish meal warehouse

5. New canned product warehouse

The reduction process will include the following unit operations: -- Cooking -- Pressing -- Liquid-solid separation -- Steam drying -- Waste heat evaporation -- Oil-liquid separation -- Cooling / grinding / bagging -- Boilers for steam generation. The plant will have a capacity to process 1 000 tons per day of raw fish. The proposed project will produce fish meal and fish oil products for export markets. 

fish meal1

Photo: Fishmeal Factory - Processing fish at fishmeal factory in Nouadhibou. Cape-CFFA.

The project will positively impact local service providers, the Mossel Bay economy, SMME’s and ancillary industries. In terms of employment opportunities, the expansion will increase direct employment from 341 to approximately 560 persons. Afro Fishing (Pty) Ltd envisages an investment of R300-350m in this project. The investment will diversify Afro Fishing into other fisheries, namely anchovy, sardinella and red-eye herring.

The project will increase the canned fish production of which a large percentage of the canned fish production goes into the National Schools Nutrition Programme where Afro Fishing supplies ‘affordable protein’ for school feeding. The design of the plant, especially the use of RTO (re-generative thermal oxidation) is based on a similar facility, Narciso Dias & Filhos, LDA, located in Peniche, Portugal.

The reason for this is due to the similarity in location (seaside town) with tourism as a main driver for the economy. The use of RTO in the plant led to significantly improved odour control management and eliminated offensive odour.

Cape Environmental Assessment Practitioners (Pty) Ltd Reg. No. 2008/004627/07 Telephone: (044) 874 0365 Facsimile: (044) 874 0432 17 Progress Street, George Web: PO Box 2070, George, 6530 AFRO FISHING FISH MEAL & OIL REDUCTION FACILITY Quay 1, Mossel Bay Harbour

Location & Site Context See Location / SDP Plans attached in document:

Mossel Bay Harbour Development

Afro Fishing is located on Quay 1 of the Mossel Bay Harbour. The development property is immediately adjacent to the west which was previously utilised by I&J.

The existing buildings will be demolished to accommodate the new development which will have a slightly smaller footprint. The property was put out on tender for commercial / industrial use by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) as owners of the harbour facility. Afro Fishing was awarded the tender to develop the property as per the TNPA’s future planning goals for the Mossel Bay harbour.

Planning Context

The harbour is zoned as Transport 1 with various consent uses. The expansion of the Afro Fishing facility to include a fishmeal and oil reduction facility will require consent use and other planning approval from the local municipality.

Environmental Context

The harbour is surrounded by a mixture of developments, including residential, commercial and tourism facilities. This makes it a sensitive site for developments that may negatively impact on people in terms of offensive odours, even though it has an industrial nature in itself.

The entire area has already been significantly transformed and there are sensitive terrestrial biodiversity aspects remaining on the site. Afro Fishing currently holds a Coastal Waters Discharge Permit in terms of the NEM: ICMA which will need to be amended in order to accommodate discharge from the proposed fishmeal and fish oil facility.

What is the purpose of this document?

The main purpose of this Background Information Document (BID) is to:

 Provide potential “Interested and Affected Parties” (I&APs) and Stakeholders with information regarding the proposed development; and

 Explain the way forward for the environmental process.

Basic Assessment (BA) Environmental process

The proposed development triggers the following listed activities in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA, Act No.107 of 1998 as amended) and 2014 NEMA Regulations (as amended) and the National Environmental Management:

Air Quality Act (NEM:AQA, Act 39 of 2004): NEMA Listing Notice 1 (GN No. R.327):

 Activity 34: The expansion of existing facilities or infrastructure for any process or activity where such expansion will result in the need for a permit or license or an amended permit or license in terms of national or provincial legislation governing the release of emissions, effluent or pollution. [The expansion to include the fishmeal / fish oil reduction plant will require an amendment to the current Coastal Waters Discharge Permit and will require a new Air Emissions License] NEM:AQA (GN No. R.893):

 Category 10 (Animal Matter Processing): Processes for the rendering, cooking, drying, dehydrating, digesting, evaporating or protein concentrating of any animal matter not intended for human consumption at all installations handling more than 1 ton of raw materials per day. The procedures of a Basic Assessment (BA) Environmental Application Process, as per the 2014 EIA Regulations (as amended), will be undertaken to seek Environmental Authorisation for the abovementioned activities. If such an EA is issued, the Garden Route District Municipality will consider the issuing of an Air Emissions License for the facility.

Stakeholder Engagement

This BID forms part of the pre-application public participation process (PPP) allowing neighbouring property owners and key stakeholders the opportunity to register as ‘Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs)’ and consider / comment on the proposal. Going forward, registered I&APs will be provided an opportunity to review & comment on the Basic Assessment Report (BAR) and Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) when they become available.

Input/comments received during process will be considered and responded to in the final report, to be submitted to the competent authority for review and decision-making. The following steps, amongst others, will be undertaken as part of the EIA Process:

 Identifying potential Interested and Affected Parties (“I&AP’s”);

 Advertising a ‘Call for Registration of Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs)’ in a local newspaper (Mossel Bay Advertiser) with an initial registration and comment period of 30-days, extending from 22 February to 25 March 2019;

Advertising in a regional newspaper (Suid Kaap Burger) with an initial registration and comment period of 30-days, extending from 22 February to 25 March 2019; 



Why and how should you get involved? Names and details of members of the public who respond to the legal advert &/ notices (calling for Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs) to register) will be captured on the project Stakeholder Register.

All written comments provided will also be recorded. According to the Guidelines on Public Participation, only those parties that submit their full contact details for registration purposes &/or who submit comments will be registered.

Documentation containing incomplete, or no contact details, may not be considered.
In the event that you (or any other party you may be aware of) have an interest in the environmental process, or feel that you may be affected by the proposed development, you are invited to register as an I&AP for the environmental process, within the 30-day registration period, extending from 22 February to 25 March 2019.

I&APs are to requested to submit their full contact details, in writing, to Cape EAPrac at the address provided at the end of this document.


TO REGISTER AS AN I&AP, PLEASE SEND YOUR REGISTRATION REQUEST, NAME & FULL CONTACT DETAILS, AND ANY PRELIMINARY COMMENTS TO: Cape-EAPrac ATT: Ms Melissa Mackay PO Box 2070 George 6530 Telephone: 044 874 0365 Fax: 044 874 0432 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 If you are against the fish meal plant, please sign and share the petition here:

Read the complete document with site maps and location here:
 Also read about the potential dangers, pollution, environmental impact and other problems with fish meal factories elsewhere in the world: 

Dirty fishmeal production in Nouadhibou, Mauritania

Stated by the Minister of Fishing as 'the price for development,' the city of Nouadhibou is experiencing grave health consequences from its fishmeal production.

"The problem with fishmeal is that for one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of fishmeal you are using at least five to 10 kilograms of fish. So you are also destroying the value of fresh fish for the population," Francisco Mari, an expert on fishing at the relief and development agency Bread for the World, told DW.
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