A Sustainable future

The sustainability of the plant relies on a renewable natural resource and is therefore tied very closely with environmental conservation and responsible fishing practice. It is a sustainable business imperative that the production operations are conducted in a manner that is not damaging to the environment or to the communities surrounding the plant.

Fish Supply

Globally, the supply of fish for human and animal consumption has grown as the resource is seen more and more as a valuable source of protein.

Fish is a renewable natural marine resource which requires responsible management by all fisheries to ensure its future sustainability. It is a good business imperative that responsible fishing practices are adopted in the fishmeal production process, in which a zero tolerance approach to illegal and unregulated
fishing is enforced.

The fishing network supplying the Hout Bay fishmeal plant catches three main fish species. All three, including by-catch species, are SASSI category green, indicating the most sustainable fish species available. In addition, the factory is IFFO-RS certified. This is an internationally recognised certificate for responsible sourcing, production and supply practices (Click here for more information).

Targeted species are anchovy and redeye. Pilchard and Horse Mackerel is allowed as incidental bycath.



The Hout Bay fishmeal plant is primarily an anchovy-based fishery and anchovy contributes the bulk of raw material input.

Redeye herring

Redeye herring

Redeye herring is a non-quota fish that is allowed for fishmeal production. The fish is traditionally not available all year round.



Pilchard is predominantly for human consumption or bait markets, so prevalence of this source in fishmeal is low.

Horse mackerel


Total allowable catch

An operational management procedure, based on fishery-dependent and fishery-independent information,

is used to determine the TAC (total allowable catch) and the amount of by-catch that may be landed by the industry annually. The catching of pelagic fish is strictly managed by Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), according to permit conditions, and all catches are weighed on discharge. No fish may be dumped.

Scientific analysis on raw material caught is performed every three weeks and compiled into status reports. The data collected is used to monitor catches, abundance, distribution and biology and associated environmental information.

Catch volumes are monitored and adjusted according to availability at the plant and in line with the plant’s Environmental Management Plan. On hotter days, smaller volumes are taken in for processing as temperature plays a key role in the rate at which the raw fish material loses its freshness. Representative samples of all landed fish per shift are sent to independent and approved laboratories to test and measure the quality and freshness (total volatile base nitrogen TVBN) of the intake. A register of all TVBN analyses is logged and provided to the City of Cape Town as per the Atmospheric Emission Licence Requirements.


The Hout Bay Fishmeal Factory provides employment to 91 permanent shore-based staff and supports in excess of 120 seagoing employees.

Fishing vessel crews receive annual pre-season training in the January close-down period. The training is conducted as per SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Association) requirements. The skipper of each vessel ensures that new staff members are trained thoroughly on the job according to compliance and work instructions. This training includes emergency response skills in the event of dangerous conditions at sea. In addition, seagoing employees are required to attend responsible fisheries training to develop a clear understanding of fisheries management, ecological health, monitoring and enforcement.

Each of the production processes at the plant requires a certain set of skills, for which specified training is provided during the January close-down and maintenance period. New employees are given on-the-job training to ensure their understanding of the production process is practical and sound. This training includes emergency response skills in case of hazardous conditions occurring at the plant. Each shift is overseen by a supervisor.