Minister Edna Molewa gazettes draft national standards for land-based abalone aquaculture and invites public comment

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa has published the draft national standards for land-based abalone aquaculture, under sections 24(2) and 24(10)(a)(i) of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998 ( Act No. 107 of 1998) , on 06 May 2016 for public comment in Government Gazette no: 39971.

The Department of Environmental Affairs DEA developed the standards in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The national standards provides for a sector standard for the land-based abalone sector and reflect activities identified in terms of NEMA that may be excluded from the requirement to obtain an environmental authorisation from the competent authority, but must comply with the national land-based abalone standard and administrative notification and registration process.

As abalone aquaculture continues to expand in South Africa, there is a clear need for the sustainable development and management of this important sector. The development of this Standard therefore aims to promote responsible abalone farming and to contribute to sustainable development by allowing the abalone aquaculture industry to pro-actively address environmental risks and impacts, while enabling economic development and achieving the objective of Operation Phakisa to unlock the potential of South Africa's oceans.

The Standard will be applicable to the Western Cape Province, the Northern Cape Province and the Eastern Cape Province and developers who fall within the scope of the Standard will not be required to obtain an environmental authorisation in terms of NEMA, provided that they comply with all the administrative specifications of the Standard.

Source: Department of Environmental Affairs