Discussion Paper

The Design, Compilation, and Interpretation of Satellite Accounts for South Africa’s Fisheries: Some Critical Thoughts

Mar 1, 2009 | Anthony Leiman, Timothy Harris

This was created in partnership with Environment for Development .


Using South Africa’s hake and rock lobster fisheries as examples, this paper argues the need for satellite accounts of South Africa’s commercial fisheries. It stresses the policy role of satellite accounts, particularly where access to fish stocks is contested. Satellite accounts give all interested parties information on the extent of stock depletion, past and present fishing effort, and the returns-to-effort reduction. They can also present the resource rents generated from harvests and the value of the resource stock. Using the United Nations handbook on national accounting for fisheries (SEEAF) to construct physical accounts, the paper indicates the ease with which these could be compiled, albeit with a number of caveats. The paper then extends the results to include monetary accounts, but warns that the current guidelines embody flaws that can yield anomalous results.