In the bustling heart of the V&A Waterfront at the iconic Table Bay Hotel, something extraordinary unfolded, marking a historic first in South Africa’s fishing industry. 

Fish4Africa, a name synonymous with quality seafood and unwavering service, celebrated its 20th birthday in style, unveiling the inaugural Industry Gala Awards Event. Co-hosted with FishSA, this event was more than just a celebration; it was a milestone moment for an industry that plays a vital role in the South African economy. 

The glittering event saw a gathering of industry leaders, celebrities, and media attendees, all coming together to acknowledge the exceptional contributions made by various players in the fishing industry. This gala was not just about Fish4Africa; it was about honouring the collective success and economic impact of an industry that often operates in deep waters out of the public’s eye.

The evening’s glitz and glamour were not limited to the venue’s elegant setting but extended to the star-studded guest list. The event boasted celebrity guests, including MC personalities Joanne Strauss and Siv Ngesi, comedian Stuart Taylor, ex-Springbok player Dale Santon, and Deputy Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Alderman Eddie Andrews. The red carpet was graced by Siv Ngesi, welcoming guests with chit-chat and photo opportunities. The evening commenced with a touch of class as glasses of bubbles were served to the guests, setting the tone for a night to remember.

Former Miss South Africa, Joanne Strauss, the charming host of the evening, ensured the event flowed smoothly and kept the guests engaged. Stuart Taylor, known for his humour, hosted a comedy show during dinner, eliciting laughter and lightening the mood. Meanwhile, Siv Ngesi took charge of hosting a thrilling rugby game, which was broadcast on two massive 4×4 screens on either side of the venue, adding an element of excitement and competition to the night.

The presence of the media, including Sunday Times, IOL, News24, Maritime Review, Fishing Industry News, and Fish Media, underscored the importance of the event within the industry and South Africa’s media landscape.

Fish4Africa’s Industry Gala Awards Event was not just a glamorous night; it was also a platform to recognise excellence across various categories. The nominations spanned five significant areas, highlighting the diversity and scope of the industry: Industry Leaders, Women in Fishing, SMME Development, Sustainability & Advocacy, and Lifetime/Legends and special Recognition.

The deserving award winners were as follows:

Industry Leadership: Recognised for setting benchmarks and leading the way in the industry – Awarded to ICV 

Women in Fishing: Honoured for her outstanding contributions as a woman in a predominantly male industry – Awarded to Michelle Bellinger 

SMME Development: Acknowledged for their efforts in fostering small and medium-sized businesses within the industry – Awarded to I&J Limited

Legends/Lifetime Awards: A tribute to an individual with a lifetime of contributions and achievements in the industry – Awarded to Gaston Fernandes 

Sustainability & Advocacy: Acknowledged for their commitment to sustainability and advocacy efforts – Awarded to South African Hake Longline Association

Special Recognition for Excellence & Accomplishment: Recognized for his outstanding contributions – Awarded to Dr. Johan Augustyn

Special Recognition for Excellence & Accomplishment: Celebrated for his extraordinary accomplishments and dedication – Awarded to Professor Doug Butterworth 

As we, Fish4Africa will continue to serve as a pioneer who believes in sustainable fishing. It is our mission to continue delivering excellence in the same likeness of the phenomenal leaders who graced the event.

Celebrating 20 Years of Success: Fish4Africa's Inaugural Industry Gala Awards Event 2023
Celebrating 20 Years of Success: Fish4Africa's Inaugural Industry Gala Awards Event 2023