Protection of Africa’s coastline essential for development


With 31 000 km of coastline and 34 official ports to handle the 91% of trade on the continent, protection of the African coastline is a non-negotiable if development is to continue.

This stark warning came from James Fisher, Chief Executive of Nautic Africa, when he addressed the Sub-sea and Offshore Support Vessels Africa conference in Cape Town earlier this month.
“The challenges of operating off the African coast are vast and daunting ranging from illegal and unregulated fishing, piracy, smuggling, oil pollution and even to offshore terrorism,” he said adding the poor condition of the continent’s ports with only a handful of the 34 currently fully operational was another factor hampering development.
“It is crucial the shipbuilding industry takes cognisance of these challenges and rises to meet them.”

Nautic Africa is doing just that by developing multi-role patrol vessels that are practical, functional and value for money options for countries wanting to up maritime security.
“The multi-role patrol vessels have been developed and built in Africa, specifically for African conditions. They are versatile and re-deployable, fuel efficient and eco-compliant, easy to maintain and sustainable.”

Additionally they are compliant with local navies and maritime authorities standards and meet the high demands set by oil companies and other clients.

Fisher’s company is recognised as one of South Africa’s top shipbuilding operations. In addition to its South African headquarters in Cape Town, Nautic Africa also has a presence in Ghana and Nigeria and enjoys good relationships with local vessel operators as well as gas and oil companies operating in in these two countries.

The company’s cradle to grave philosophy sees full vessel support to maximise lifespan via technical management, system-specific maintenance and integrated logistics. Crew and system training is also available.
“The protection of Africa’s waters is crucial to the ongoing development of the continent. Governments and private companies need to work together to ensure we need never write ‘here be dragons’ on our seafaring maps again,” Fisher said.