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Fishing industry launches internships

The companies active in South Africa’s deep-sea trawling industry have teamed up with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the conservation organisation WWF-South Africa to provide an opportunity for 11 new graduates to work in the field of fisheries management, aquaculture, environmental science and related fields.

The South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (Sadstia) announced it will sponsor 11 paid and structured internships for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

The internships will form part of WWF’s successful Graduate Internship Programme which aims to provide a practical bridging experience for graduates to make a career in environmental sciences.

As the only fishery in Africa to be certified as sustainable and well-managed by the Marine Stewardship Council – the world’s leading certification and eco-labelling programme for wild-caught seafood – Sadstia works closely with the WWF.

“Our members recognise that youth unemployment is one of the most serious challenges facing South Africa today and the Sadstia/DAFF/WWF Graduate Internship Programme provides us with an opportunity to make a real difference and assist government,” said Terence Brown, Sadstia chairperson.

“We hope the programme will give individuals an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, link to professional networks and possibly establish a career in the fishing industry.”

Eight of the 11 interns will be placed at fishing companies and three will be placed at the Fisheries Branch of the DAFF. The Fisheries Branch has a mandate to manage South Africa’s commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries.

Sadstia research assistant, Fisokuhle Mbatha, who joined Sadstia as an intern in April 2017 and was appointed to a full-time position with the association as soon as her internship was complete, also shared her perspectives at the launch, saying:

“My internship was the ‘mobile starter-pack’ I needed to build my career. It connected my academic knowledge of fisheries to the real-life work environment. I was offered many opportunities to network with professionals with expertise in marine science and working alongside them has motivated me to be an internationally recognised marine scientist in future.”

Mbatha holds a Masters Degree in Applied Marine Science from the University of Cape Town.

WWF will call for applications from prospective interns in October. Details of the application procedure will be posted to the Sadstia website following the public advertisement.

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