Amatola Wild Trout Fishery

Promoting community-owned and managed recreational fishery
2010 SEED Award Winner Biodiversity East London, South Africa

Amatola Wild Trout is the first community-owned and -managed recreational fishery in South Africa. It introduces economic and social development into the Amatolas through the development of an eco-tourism attraction.

The initiative introduces a high-end market tourism activity (fly-fishing) into a poor rural area. Income is generated through rod fees, accommodation and catering services. All income generated before the end of 2011 is retained by the community-owned enterprise because short-term operational costs are covered by donor funding. The income will be expended thereafter in order to sustain and grow the business.


Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Amatola Wild Trout is transforming the local economy by initiating a recreational fishery which is creating a lot of employment opportunities for the locals. It is also making an effort to protect the biodiversity through different interventions.
  • Sponsoring the members of the local community to take part in tourism and business studies programmes.
  • Creating temporary and permanent job opportunities within the community.


  • Improving the water flow and quality significantly.
  • Contributing to the conversion of biodiversity in the Amatola river system through environmental interventions such as eradication of alien species. 
  • Increasing the household incomes by providing services in the recreational fly-fishery; the fishery aims to achieve a monthly income of 4300 USD by end 2011.



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Border Rural Committee (BRC): This well established NGO provides capacity and institution building support.

Rural Fisheries Programme (RFP): Being part of Rhodes University, RFP is ideally positioned to offer sound scientific and technical support.

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