Fisherman Claude van Leen has been sitting idle in Hout Bay harbour near Cape Town for six months because shifting winds have made the water too warm for his catch. He blames climate change. “People are selling boats, and they are losing their livelihoods,” van Leen says in the cramped cabin of an old vessel. Normally jovial, the bulky 50-odd-year-old in blue overalls shakes his head and frowns. “We are all private fishermen here and just the five tuna boats lost about R5 million ($330,000) in October alone.” African cities are some of the fastest growing in the world and millions of residents rely on fish for protein and livelihoods. The World Bank expects the continent to more than double its population to about 1.5 billion people by 2050. More than 12 million people are engaged in the fisheries sector in sub-Saharan Africa, the bank says. And it doesn’t stop there. For example, every fisherman’s job creates 1.04 additional onshore jobs in Mauritania, and 3.15 in Guinea.  

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Colin McClelland is a journalist based in Johannesburg with more than 25 years of experience writing for Reuters, Associated Press and Bloomberg, and a background as diverse as covering The Rolling Stones in Canada and Angola's civil war.

Mikki Ferreira is a Cape-Town based journalist who is trying to remedy the too many years she spent in advertising.