Lofa River is one of Liberia’s six major rivers, and forms the boundary between Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties in Western Liberia.By: S. Micah Yeahwon, from Western Liberia The prolonged closure of Lofa Bridge to the free movement of goods and services in Western Liberia has claimed the attention of the residents, who think the situation has created hardships for them.Subsequently, youth in the area have reportedly threatened to protest, demanding contractors repairing the bridge to fast track the project.The Lofa River is one of Liberia’s six major rivers, and forms the boundary between Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties in Western Liberia.The bridge over the river is currently undergoing a major rehabilitation work under the supervision of SSF Engineering Construction Company.Philip Barfour, the company’s lead engineer, said the rehabilitation work began early May and is expected to be completed in three months.But residents consider the three-month interval too long, since it will come at the peak of the rainy season, exacerbating hardships that arise during that time of the year.Mr. Barfour told the Daily Observer that the reconstruction work will include removing all the ‘spoiled planks and wood’ that were originally nailed to guard some of the iron under the bridge and replacing them with new guard iron plate sheets that will be cemented to withstand the weight of any moving object over the bridge.Barfour puts the cost of the project over US$300,000, which he said was provided by the Grand Cape Mount County Legislative Caucus through the instrumentality of Senator Edward Dagozeh.While the repair work is ongoing, the bridge is currently closed to the public and all vehicles using that route. This means that travelers and vehicles will have to go through Sinje before connecting to Gola Konneh District in Grand Cape Mount County, instead of passing through Gbarpolu County, the shortest route to Grand Cape Mount County.This closure has, however, brought up contentions and mixed feelings between the residents of Vaye Town, Gbarpolu County and those in the Lofa Bridge Town on one side, and the SSF Construction Firm.The citizens said they have been left out of the decision to close the bridge to the public, something they feel is bringing economic hardships to them.For those in Vaye Town and Lofa Bridge Town, the bridge serves as a trade link to other counties and as a major source of economic activities for them.Paul D. Cooper, a classroom teacher assigned at the Woamawo High School, one of the three secondary schools in Gbarpolu County, said the reconstruction of the bridge is welcome news, but said it would have been appropriate were the two parties to have convened a joint meeting before closing the bridge to the public.Mr. Cooper is also the spokesperson for the youth in the area.He also said that SSF Construction Firm should have created a detour to allow people to continue with their normal business activities.“This access road would have helped the students and other commuters to continue their respective activities, especially for the students who are scheduled to sit the upcoming exams to be administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC),” he said.Cooper added that if nothing is done by the SSF and the Grand Cape Mount authorities, the citizens, especially the youth in Vaye Town, have planned to organize a ‘peaceful protest’ against the company’s decision to close the bridge to the public.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club is gearing up to co-host the 26th Annual Masters Allround Games, taking place at the Pomeroy Sport Centre March 10th – 12th.Wim Kok with the Elks says that so far, things are coming together very nicely when it comes to preparations for the event. Kok says that the list of volunteers is all set and ready, along with referees and other off-ice officials from places such as Calgary, Victoria, Saskatoon, and as far away as Winnipeg. So far, Kok says that 90 skaters have signed up, coming from Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Romania, and the United States in addition to Canadians. Skaters range in age from 30 to several that are in their 80s, with 25 of the ninety skaters being women.In the different age groups, those up to age 65 will skate four distances: 500m, 1,500m, 3,000m, and 5,000m. Those over 65 and woman will compete in the 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m, and 3,000m. After each event, the skaters’ times will be converted to points for the overall standings.- Advertisement -Kok says that the club has a lot of prior experience hosting large National-calibre events, so it won’t be too much of an issue moving onto the International stage. He pointed out the past successes that Fort St. John has had hosting the speed skating events at the 2015 Canada Winter Games after the outdoor oval in Prince George suffered from above normal temperatures. This is in addition to hosting provincials, the Canada Cup, and the Canadian Masters Championships.Kok says that when it comes to the ice that the skaters will be competing on, city staff are currently shaving down the layers of ice on the Pomeroy’s oval track in advance of next weekend’s races, so that the lines on the oval are more crisp and clear. “We’re very happy with how it’s progressing,” said Kok. “As I said the support from a number of the businesses, the Pomeroy Hotel Group have been very supportive, and City Hall.”
The U.S. has not won a Davis Cup World Group match on clay in a decade, and lost to Russia on clay in Moscow in last year’s semifinals. The Americans are 4-1 against the Czechs in Davis Cup play. The winner of these matches will advance to the quarterfinals. The U.S.-Czech series was one of eight in World Group play. Taking 2-0 leads were Sweden (at Belarus), France (home against Romania), Argentina (at Austria), Belgium (home against Australia) and Russia (at Chile). Tied at 1 were Croatia at Germany, and Spain at Switzerland. Boosted by a boisterous crowd at CEZ Arena, the 12th-ranked Berdych took advantage of a disputed line call to finish off the sixth-ranked American. In the fifth game of the fourthset, Blake was convinced he had a vital break when Berdych appeared to double fault. Blake said he was penalized by the umpire for continuing to play the point. Berdych saved that break point, and came back to win the game. “My serve let me down,” Blake said. Doubles in the best-of-5 format is today, with reverse singles Sunday. The Americans have an outstanding doubles team in Camarillo’s Bob and Mike Bryan, winners at last month’s Australian Open. They will face an established pairing in Lukas Dlouhy and his 36-year-old coach, Pavel Vizner. OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – James Blake was unhappy with his serve and unhappy with the officiating. And the United States was in a familiar spot Friday – scrambling in a Davis Cup match played on clay. Blake lost to Tomas Berdych 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, leaving the U.S. tied 1-all with the Czech Republic. Andy Roddick defeated Davis Cup rookie Ivo Minar 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to give the U.S. the early lead in the first-round World Group series. “We agree the ball was out,” Blake said. “He said I didn’t stop fast enough. In his judgment I reacted to the ball,” keeping the rally alive. “Maybe next time I will sit down on the court.” Blake regrouped and was serving to tie the set at 6, but a double fault coupled with Berdych’s winners sealed the victory. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Rod Marinelli was nearing an agreement with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday night to become their new head coach, a team source told The Associated Press. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had not made an announcement, said Marinelli was to leave the team’s practice facility on Wednesday night but stayed to negotiate his contract. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardHe has not been a head coach at any level, but attracted interest from at least one other team with an opening this off-season. The Oakland Raiders interviewed Marinelli on Monday, then he traveled to suburban Detroit for a second interview with Lions president Matt Millen. Former New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett said he was scheduled to travel from his home in Louisiana to Michigan on Wednesday night for a second interview. But he had not heard from the Lions about travel arrangements or his prospects for the job. Marinelli’s coaching career began in 1973 as an assistant at Rosemead High School. He was an assistant at Utah State from 1973-82 before moving on to California for nine seasons, Arizona State for three seasons and USC for one season. The Lions scheduled a news conference for today but did not provide any other details. Marinelli, a Rosemead native, spent the past 10 seasons in Tampa Bay as the defensive line coach. His unit helped establish an NFL record with 69 consecutive games with at least one sack from 1999-03. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The 44th Annual Primary Schools Athletics Challenge will take place later this month on the 28th of May at the Finn Valley Centre. Program of events:Born 2007 60m Born 2006 60m, 100mBorn 2005 80m, 300m, Long Jump, Turbo JavelinBorn 2004 80m, 600m, Turbo Javelin, Long Jump,High Jump ,Relay (see a)Born 2003 100m, 600m, High Jump, Long Jump, Shot Put, Turbo Javelin Born 2002 100m, 800m, High Jump, Long Jump, Relay (see b) Turbo JavelinBorn 2002/2003 ShotBorn 2001 100m, 800mRules:1. Entry fee is £2.50/€3.00 payable in advance or on arrival,2. Children may compete in two events only plus relay: Schools please note3. Children to compete in their own age category, the exception being relay where the sections are:a. Born 2004/2005b. Born 2002/20034. Schools are limited to two children in each High Jump, Long Jump, Shot and Turbo Javelin5. Please note spikes if worn to be 5mmThis event continues to be developing with 96 schools participating during 2013. Qualifying regional trails where appropriate will take place during April/May. It is desirable to have a local area qualifying final. Areas which had a qualifying competition last year were Finn Valley (2days) North West, Rosses, Buncrana, Glenties .Two athletes per event qualifying for the county finals along with one relay each regional event. Schools in other areas may wish to organise a qualifying competition amongst themselves on a mutually agreed day. Schools unable to organise locally may still compete at County final with one athlete per event plus relay team per age group. AS PER 2013 THERE WILL BE SEPERATE WHEELCHAIR EVENTS BOYS/GIRLSPrincipals please note the former as numbers have forced; it is therefore, desirable to have a local area event if at all possible.Awards – medals top 3, certificates for all children N.B. where areas do not hold qualifying events I will on this occasion hold firm on the above namely one athlete per event per school in jumps and throws. You can understand this as there are time and safety limitations on the day.Important to note relay races based on school size 3 categories as per previous years based on school roll .0-100,100-200,200+.It would be helpful if i had school contact email and this enables me to forward timetables etc prior to event to your school. Further details /Enquiries from Patsy McGonagle at 0872226112 or Email firstname.lastname@example.orgTH ANNUAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS ATHLETICS CHALLENGE LATER THIS MONTH was last modified: May 13th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:athleticsFinn Valley ACNoticesSport
Ryan and Jack McBethTwo cricket-mad St Johnston brother have been chosen to play for Ireland.St Johnston Cricket Club brothers Ryan and Jack Macbeth are among a total of 17 youngsters from the North West region who have been named in the various Ireland youth training squads released by Cricket Ireland.At Under 15 level Ryan will join Andrew Austin from Bready, Fox Lodge spinner Aaron Heywood, and Ross McCay from Burndennett. The Under 13 squad sees Jack join James Colhoun of Killyclooney, Coleraine spin sensation Varun Chopra, and Trent McKeegan of Bready.Everyone connected to St Johnston Cricket Club wish the lads all the best in their respective squads. ST JOHNSTON BROTHERS ARE BATTING FOR EACH OTHER AND IRELAND! was last modified: January 24th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Jack McBethRyan McBethST JOhnston Cricket Club
THE Lifford/Letterkenny Road is closed after a road traffic collision involving up to four vehicles this morning.Gardai are at the scene of the incident near Tully’s Tyres/Motorists are being diverted whilst an investigation continues. ROAD CLOSED AFTER CRASH was last modified: April 4th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Embed from Getty ImagesPatrick Bamford is close to leaving Chelsea without making a first-team appearance for the club.Bamford, signed from Nottingham Forest five years ago, looks set to complete a permanent move to Middlesbrough, where he has previously been on loan.It comes amid speculation over the future of Chelsea’s main striker, Diego Costa.Meanwhile, the Blues have agreed to let 21-year-old defender Dion Conroy stay on loan at Aldershot until April.QPR have had a £1.2m bid for Rotherham forward Danny Ward rejected but plan to make another offer and have also resumed talks with Bristol City over a potential deal to sign Luke Freeman.Embed from Getty ImagesFulham are also still discussing a deal after having an offer rejected – the Whites remain keen on Standard Liege midfielder Ibrahima Cisse.It’s a similar story at Brentford, where talks are ongoing with Norwich over Sergi Canos and with West Ham over the possible sale of Scott Hogan.But the Bees are no longer talking to Coventry City about Ben Stevenson, having had an offer for the midfielder rejected. Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Several small business owners made a conscious decision to produce non-toxic and biodegradable products. Here’s their why.Khululekani Nyobole is an entrepreneur helping to save the planet through his business. “We want to make eco-friendly products accessible to every household in South Africa. It is not just a trend; it is a movement of nurturers – nurturing ourselves, our loved ones and the planet.” (Image supplied)Melissa JavanHer passion for the environment and making a conscious decision that she would do anything so her children could see wildlife and nature, led to her company manufacturing eco-friendly cleaning products, said Blendwell Chemicals‘ Judy Sunasky.Blendwell Chemicals’ head office is in Midrand, Johannesburg. The company makes three ranges of cleaning products, including Enviroblend, which is plant-based and readily biodegradable.“I am passionate about the environment, nature and being outdoors.“I want a future that is bright for my children. I want them to see an Earth where there is wildlife and we are able to feel grass under our feet and sunshine on our faces,” she said, explaining her motivation to make eco-friendly cleaners. It underlines her adherence to the saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”Judy Sunasky of Blendwell Chemicals says her company started producing eco-friendly product in 2011. “Enviroblend is the green, eco-friendly certified range. These products are innovative, sourced from sustainable plant-based chemicals and are non-toxic and readily biodegradable.” (Image supplied)Sunasky is not the only one with this sentiment. Khululekani Nyobole of Nurturer and Raj Lalloo of OptimusBio also make environmentally friendly products.Their products are sold through distribution agents and their websites.Collective responsibilityWriting on Bizcommunity.com, Justin Smith said South African companies, including those in the retail sector, continued to experience a significant change in customers’ mindset.“The reality is that doing business is no longer just about profit, but also about creating shared value and meeting responsibilities to contribute to inclusive economic development, and to give back to communities and our planet.”Smith is head of the Woolworths Good Business Journey, the retail chain’s sustainability programme. He wrote that we were seeing things such as changing weather patterns in South Africa and increased frequency of climate-related disasters.These issues, along with other agricultural concerns, plus water scarcity, affected food security and food prices, which ultimately put pressure on South African consumers.“It is our collective responsibility as corporate citizens to look to reduce resource consumption patterns, both in our respective places of business and along our supply chains, to see where efficiencies can be enhanced.”Woolworths is an example of a company doing things differently in support of the environment. It replaced all the plastic microbeads in its label beauty and personal care products with biodegradable alternatives, reported Bizcommunity.com.Microbeads are tiny, non-biodegradable plastic spheres that are widely used in face and body scrubs to deliver the exfoliating action. Because of the microbeads’ size, they clog sewerage systems, water courses and oceans, endangering marine and aquatic life.Woolworths replaced the microbeads with natural and biodegradable ingredients such as jojoba oil beads, apricot kernels and synthetic wax beads.NurturerEntrepreneur Khululekani Nyobole was born and raised in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha. “This (area) is where the majority of the people work for survival – to get their basic needs met,” he said.According to News24, Nyobole matriculated from Crystal Secondary School in Hanover Park, after failing Grade 10 three times. “I’d always wanted to start my own business. I wanted a qualification. I wanted stability. That’s when I decided to start Nurturer because the environment is close to my heart.”Nurturer makes affordable, environmentally friendly cleaning products. They went to market in February 2017.Eco-friendly products found on shop shelves were not only inaccessible as they are available in the more affluent areas, but they were high-end products that were sold at a premium, Nyobole said.“Even if they would care for the environment, their financial state does not allow them to buy better products,” he explained about his community.“This bothered me because eco-friendly products are part of the solution to the crisis of environmental degradation and to our healthcare. Their purpose cannot be fulfilled in Africa if they are only used by the minority or the elite. This is the fundamental reason why we (Nurturer) exist,” Nyobole said.His company developed a direct selling model so that a “nurturer” could talk to consumers one-on-one. “We aim to create awareness by sharing information about toxins that are lingering in their homes from the products they use and the consequences of using such products such as poor indoor air quality and skin/eye irritations.“We then share the benefits of switching to eco-friendly products and exhibit this through demonstrations.”OptimusBioRaj Lalloo, OptimusBio chief researcher and chief technical officer, said the company was a spin-out from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) that produces next-generation biotechnology products for green cleaning, sanitation, water and waste treatment.Founded in September 2014, the company is in Pretoria. OptimusBio makes products for domestic and institutional cleaning, rural sanitation, water treatment, industrial waste treatment, agriculture and aquaculture.It uses technology developed at the CSIR’s Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre. Lalloo explained: “The technology is based on the concept of biomimicry, which is when good bacteria are used as nature’s ‘machines’ to clean wastes.“Our indigenous bacteria integrate into natural ecosystems through the principle of bio-augmentation. The products were developed with the aim of replacing the harsh chemicals and pollutants with next-generation biological and biodegradable alternatives, to improve wellbeing, while preserving scarce water and environmental resources.“This is a highly impactful offering from CSIR technology, developed over many years, and we are excited about how it will change the landscape towards a more sustainable planet.”For example, the products helped with rural sanitation, pit latrine toilets and septic tanks by biologically degrading waste, he said. “This assists with quality of life, odour, disease and flies.”PhepisaPhepsile Maseko founded Phepisa Natural Resources Institute in Johannesburg in 2010. Phepisa focuses on developing and distributing safe, traditional and natural innovative treatments that help people lead a healthier life.They include the Gwenge range of skincare products. All of the items in the range have a South African plant extract as the main ingredient.Maseko, who is a traditional healer, says on her website that she grew up having a recurring dream that later became a vision. The dream involved a bunch of rich, green, medicinal plants shaped like a carrot.“I was later to learn that it was a sign from the ancestors that I was the chosen one to be taught about ancient healing methods and secrets that have been passed down in my family for over three generations.”Maseko’s father taught her where to find and identify the different herbs and plants for medicine. “He would then teach me how he makes formulations for different ailments from these plants. This was an exciting world for a young girl; it was also my schooling in African traditional medicines and healing practices.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material
Aquaculture presents South Africa with a more sustainable way of harvesting fish. The World Wildlife Fund of South Africa says our seas are overexploited. (Image: Industrial Development Corporation)• Centre studies South Africa’s oceans• Safer seas for Port Elizabeth’s marine life• Can Africa lead the way to a sustainable future?• South African consumers help rebuild fish stocks• Sea life explained for young explorersShamin ChibbaIt was a cool and windy spring afternoon in East London when the executive director of the Oceanwise fish farm, Liam Ryan, met Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) officials outside his office. As he led them to a nearby tank facility, his white overcoat flapped relentlessly in the gust coming in from the shores of Leaches Bay.“We are farming kabeljou on land,” he yelled into the wind. “It’s been green-listed by WWF-SASSI [Worldwide Fund for Nature-Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative] because our impact on the ocean and the species is minimal. We only used a handful of parent kob from the sea. Also, the sea water is used sparingly; 90% of it is recycled.”October is National Marine Month and one of the main focuses during the month is on finding more sustainable ways of harvesting seafood. Ryan said aquaculture was that solution. It is, perhaps, South Africa’s cure to over-exploitation of its waters.Oceanwise is located in the East London Industrial Development Zone and is a pioneer in South African aquaculture. It specialises in harvesting kabeljou, otherwise known as kob, and supplies major retailers such as Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Food Lovers Market. Oceanwise’s kabeljou is green-listed on the SASSI list, which means it is legal to buy. Wild caught kabeljou are protected and the WWF-SA discourages consumers from buying them. All of the 900 000 fish at the farm are descendants of 20 parent kob that came from the Sunday’s River area in Eastern Cape, just 40 kilometres east of Port Elizabeth.For each year of its pilot research, between 2004 and 2008, Oceanwise produced 400 000 fingerlings from those parents. Not only did it prove the venture would be profitable, but it also proved that aquaculture would significantly reduce the impact on marine life along South Africa’s shores.Oceanwise started farming in 2009. It was a slow process at first, with its first fish only reaching the market in 2011. “It had to be built up because it takes about five months to get to about 150 grams and about a year for full growth,” Ryan explained. Five years later, the farm produces as much as 25 tonnes of kabeljou for consumption every month. Innovative fish farming for less privilegedA Cape Town company is using fish farming to feed and empower the less privileged by providing them with fully functional fish farms made out of shipping containers.Alan Fleming, director of The Business Place, an entrepreneur development and assistance organisation in Philippi, Cape Town, designed the farm last year and describes it as “profitable, affordable, repeatable, transportable, lockable and stackable”. He said it was designed to provide a cash-poor collective or poorer urban families with an income and high quality protein right where they lived at an affordable price. The space required for the container was minimal, and it could operate on energy obtained from solar power.“I’m working with taking the operational expense of electricity out of the equation, and dumping into it a capital expenditure item of renewable energy. This adds R200 000 to the price. If it gives four people a permanent livelihood, then that means about R80 000 per livelihood.”Fleming said the farm could be stocked with tilapia, a hardy fish that feeds on phytoplankton, a microscopic plant. Part of the World Wildlife Fund’s pocket guide to purchasing fish. Note that the species listed in the red with a black background are illegal to sell in South Africa. Those with an arrow have local improvement projects underway whereas those with prohibited symbols next to them are specially protected species. View the full pocket guide. (Image: WWF-SASSI) Aquaculture new to South AfricaAquaculture was still in its infancy in South Africa, said Ryan. Historically, the country’s long coastline meant it had access to large quantities of fish so there was no need for fish farming. However, with the coastline becoming increasingly exposed, the storms that repel fishermen and the demand for seafood rising, aquaculture has become more attractive.It is a relatively small industry in South Africa and in the past the government did not give it much attention. But in 2007, it began to take notice of the potential of the industry. Because of a growing shortage of traditionally harvested fish such as hake, the government invested R100-million in aquaculture projects in all four of the country’s coastal provinces.Government again showed its dedication to aquaculture when President Jacob Zuma launched Operation Phakisa in July this year. It will look to unlock the growth potential of the country’s coastline, which is in line with the National Development Plan.The operation will implement policies and programmes faster and more effectively. As a result, Zuma said it can unlock the ocean’s potential to contribute up to R177-billion to the country’s GDP and create as many as one-million direct jobs.Aquaculture is a big part of that plan. According to Zuma, government recognises the industry as a way of contributing to food security since it has shown strong growth of 6.5% per year. Operation Phakisa will look to grow all segments of the aquaculture industry, especially by creating jobs within processing and marketing.Even with this investment, however, South Africa lags way behind the rest of the world. According to experts Cécile Brugère and Neil Ridler, the world’s aquaculture sector has grown at an annual rate of 9.2% since 1973, and is projected to grow at 4.5% until 2030. Global returns for commercial fish farming recorded by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2008 totalled 33.8-million tons, worth about US$60-billion (approximately R667-billion).Despite aquaculture’s advantages, the wild capture sector remains fishery’s biggest contributor. According to the WWF-SA, wild capture fisheries include commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries. It estimated about 500 000 people fished recreationally in South Africa, with the value of that industry placed around R3-billion in 2011. Also, commercially caught line fish was about 16 000 tons, which placed huge pressure on those species. The conservation group said 23% of South Africa’s key commercial fish resources were over-exploited. For Oceanwise chief executive, Liam Ryan, the best story to come out of the company is that of job creation. It employs 115 workers from impoverished areas of East London, all of whom had to learn new skills since joining the company. (Image: Industrial Development Corporation) A regulated industrySince the fish at Oceanwise were harvested in tanks there was no risk of escapees, said Ryan. And because they are in a protected environment, they have an advantage over those in the wild that are vulnerable to predators. Oxygen is supplemented, which means only the purest oxygen is generated. They feed on a formulated pellet that is based on natural proteins and minerals that the kabeljou need.Since the aquaculture industry is regulated, the fish at Oceanwise have to be tagged. This serves various purposes, one of them being that a fish can be traced back to the tank from where it came. Tags can also help identify males from females.Under government regulations, fish have to be protected from intermingling with similar breeds from other regions. Therefore, eggs and fingerlings from East London have to be harvested in the city. “When we supply fish to the market there is a code on every box and delivery note that says it comes from this facility,” said Ryan. “So the industry is quite protected and regulated.”The University of Stellenbosch is also helping Oceanwise by banking fish DNA. This can help to determine from which parent a fish comes. New careers and jobsThough aquaculture is punted as the future of fishery, Ryan claims that it is still considered high risk in terms of the cost that goes into setting up a farm. The IDC’s funding of Oceanwise amounted to R22-million. But the social benefits of setting up Oceanwise in East London outweigh the costs of running the facility. Not only has the farm reduced human impact on the seas, but it has also created jobs for those desperate for an income.Most of Oceanwise’s 115 workers came from impoverished backgrounds and entered the company unskilled. Some of them were school leavers whose hope for the future was quickly diminishing. “Most of these young people joined Oceanwise as unskilled casual labour,” said Ryan. “They were brought in to support the construction and early development of Oceanwise’s facilities.”But their interest in learning about aquaculture, water sciences and kabeljou over the past five years has allowed the workers to carve aquaculture careers for themselves. “This is development at its best, with a life-changing impact on these young people and their families’ lives… This type of personal growth opportunity for young individuals is rare. Since it is a new industry with a need for new specialist skills, there is a greater than normal opportunity for internal promotion and career development.”