About us

Aqunion is one of the world’s leading abalone farming businesses. A union of three well-known South African abalone businesses (Roman Bay Sea Farm, Aquafarm Development and SPP Canning). Find out more about our history, business philosophy, leadership team and operations.

OUR History

Aqunion offers a full aquaculture value chain, including abalone farming, processing, marketing and export of both wild and farmed South African abalone. Read more about our 20 years of history.


We are hands-on farmers first who have developed into a mature organisation over many years. We understand the modern marketplace and always strive to develop meaningful long-term relationships with our customers.


Aqunion’s farming and processing operations are located in the beautiful coastal towns of Gansbaai and Hermanus.


Learn more about our different farms, where we breed our abalone.


See where our abalone is processed into products for export.


Our customer-focused marketing approach has seen us forge lasting relationships with key customers.

Our Team

Meet our team! Listed below is our executive and non-executive directors.

Our Team

Meet our team! Listed below is our executive and non-executive directors.

Prof Mohammad Karaan

Chairman of the Board

Mohammad Karaan is a member for the South African National Planning Commission and is currently the Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences at the University of Stellenbosch. He is also currently the Vice-rector: Community Interaction and Personnel. His areas of specialisation include agribusiness management, supply chain management, food marketing, informal markets, rural development, small-scale agriculture, urban agriculture, aquaculture, and strategic management.

André du Plessis

Non-Executive Director

Andre is the founder of the abalone business that has become Aqunion and has been in marine aquaculture for forty years. He started Aquafarm Development (Pty) Ltd in 1994 and retired as Chief Executive of the Group in 2012. Obtained a BSc (Biology) at Stellenbosch University after which he conducted research and development work in marine aquaculture for the next ten years. This was followed by over ten years in the fishing industry where he gained valuable experience in management and processing.

Jacques du Plessis

International Commercial Director

Jacques has over 16 years of experience in abalone aquaculture and marketing, as he started his career at the group in 2000. Typically, he is responsible for overall business strategy and leading the Executive Team. Highlights of his tenure at the company includes the expansion of the production capacity of Roman Bay Sea Farm from 50 to 215 tonnes per annum, over a period of 8 years. He has been integral in establishing Aqunion as the new consolidated abalone group. This is the culmination of his vision and a process that started 4 years ago.

Rowan Yearsly

Chief Executive Officer

Rowan is the Chief Executive Officer of Aqunion and has been with the company since 2008. He initially served as the Research & Development Manager of Aqunion and as Managing Director of Group subsidiary Marifeed before being appointed as CEO in 2017.

Louise Vosloo

General Manager, Abalone Farming

As the General Manager of our farming operations, Louise is responsible for maximising the abalone division’s profitability by finding innovative ways to minimise costs and optimise productivity without compromising on product quality. Louise holds a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Zoology from the University of Johannesburg (the former Rand Afrikaans University).

Eugene Vosloo

General Manager, Processing

Eugene is responsible for the day-to-day management and leadership of our processing facility in order to guarantee high product standards. He is continuously striving for improvement by innovating and advancing the business in the areas of product quality, service delivery, efficiency, product development, systems and processes.

Willem Briers

Sales Manager

Willem is responsible for Aqunion marketing, specifically introducing new markets to our products. He is the main point of contact for our existing customer base and manages all sales, customer relations and the rollout of new marketing programmes. He spends his days carefully managing our supply chain, closely collaborating with our farms to ensure that our supply closely matches the market requirements.