South African elected to head international fishing industry body
Recognition for South African fisheries management
SOUTH AFRICA: Felix Ratheb, Chief Executive of Sea Harvest was elected to chair the International Groundfish Forum (IGF) at the Groundfish Forum held last month in Greece.
As the first African to be elected to chair the body, Ratheb, who is also a former chairperson of the South African Deepsea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA), believes his election is a signal from the Groundfish Forum that South Africa is doing a good job in managing its groundfish resources.
“The South African fishery for hake is small in global terms, but the fishing companies active in the fishery have got a very good reputation, so it’s fantastic there is a South African leading the Groundfish Forum,” he says.
Ratheb’s election came as a surprise to him and he is heartened by the recognition his peers in the global seafood industry have shown him.
The global outlook for groundfish is positive, with the Groundfish Forum predicting the supply of wild-caught groundfish will remain steady at around 7.042 million tons in 2024.
The annual Groundfish Forum attracts 300 seafood executives from all over the world to discuss trends in the supply and distribution of groundfish, as well as consumer behaviour and demand dynamics.
Ratheb attended his first Groundfish Forum in Portugal in 2006 and was elected to the seven-member Executive Committee in 2016. His selection as Chairman took place at the 2023 meeting which was held in Athens, Greece from 17 to 19 October.
The International Groundfish Forum Fisheries Limited (IGFL) is a meeting place for leading members of the groundfish business worldwide. The primary aims of the Forum are to increase understanding of conditions in the groundfish industry, exchange information regarding government resources and other decisions, and provide better opportunities for all industry participants and consumers.