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Abstract

In an effort to gain a better understanding of the trade in fish products by South Africa a starting point is examining South Africa's current trade in fish products. Useful tools in this regard, the Gini-coefficient, used to examine the degree of concentration for fish exports, and the intra-industrial trade coefficient (IIT), and used to examine the balance of international fish trade by South Africa. The Gini-coefficient for fish exports shows that fish export by South Africa is highly concentrated. The trend in concentration appears to have remained constant, and therefore the South African fisheries industry may boast a competitive advantage. However, cognisance should be taken of the fact that such a high level of concentration may render the South African fisheries industry vulnerable to exogenous changes. The IIT analysis shows that, after 1985, the fisheries industry underwent substantial changes in that it has increased exportable surpluses, probably as a result of increased specialization and competitiveness. The analysis conducted does not pertinently explain the factors that sustain the levels of concentration, nor does it highlight specific factors that may underpin the competitiveness of the industry, and hence further analysis in this regard is necessary.

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