Along the coasts of Africa, small-scale-fisheries play a significant role in supporting livelihoods of more than 250 million people, contributing to food security in impoverished rural communities. In South Africa the wild abalone fishery has suffered extensive poaching causing stock collapse in many areas, with fear that some may never recover without intervention.
Abalone ranching has the potential to provide a sustainable fishery that can support local impoverished communities and boost the South African economy. However, it is a time-consuming, high-risk operation due to the investment required to obtain environmental authorisations and fishing rights.
Currently, the scientific understanding of habitat quality is constrained by lack-of-understanding of the nearshore geomorphology/hydrodynamics in high-energy shallow-reef environments. The University of Plymouth team have internationally-recognised expertise in mapping and modelling these environments and have worked within the project consortium to develop optimal seeding strategies to boost survival rates and commercial viability.