Regarding agriculture, the West Coast is very sandy and the soil is mostly too poor to support any intensive farming.
Consequently farms are large and the main activity is raising sheep.
However, there are also dairy farms, and around Vredenburg there are several wheat farmers.
Another industry contributing to the West Coast's economy is the huge Sishen-Saldanha iron-ore project, in which the sheltered harbour of the nearby town Saldanha plays an important part.
A naval training base and the South African Military Academy are also situated in Saldanha.
St. Helena Bay is home to the fishing industry. This town has a large concentration of fishing factories, which provide more than half of the annual fish produced in South Africa.
A variety of fish lives in the cold Benguela current, for example sardines, pilchards and snoek, as well as the so-called fruits of the sea - rock lobsters, oysters, mussels and abalone, or better known as perlemoen.
At Vredenburg the boat-building industry is going strong since 1965. Boats are built for from crayfishing to deep-sea fishing.