At Cape Grace’s fine dining restaurant, Signal, we tread a delicate balance between serving the exquisite seafood that people want, yet doing so within environmentally friendly guidelines. That’s why we the follow the SASSI Guide to Sustainable Seafood and never serve seafood on the Red List.
Fishing has, in many cases, left in its wake dangerously depleted fish stocks and an ecosystem whose balance has been tipped to jeopardize the existence of a number of key species. To the rescue comes the WWF Sustainable Fisheries Programme, which provides practical solutions by interfacing between civil society, private sector and governments. They say there is still hope!
It’s easy to do your part, just go to the SASSI website and type in the name of the fish, or download a mini brochure showing the Green-Orange-Red lists, or simply send an SMS with the name of the fish to 079 499 8795 (standard rates apply) and you get an instant response as to how sustainable the seafood is.
You may think that you don’t make any difference, but if you vote with your purse and tell the seller why you are not buying their fish, and somebody else does the same, things can change.
Here are a few facts from WWF SASSI (The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) website:
- 85% of the world´s fish stocks are either overexploited or exploited to their maximum (2010 United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation report).
- No fishing gear is completely selective. As a result, many non-target fish or endangered species of albatrosses, sharks and turtles are accidentally caught as bycatch. Globally, it is estimated that approximately a quarter of what is caught is thrown back, often dead, and wasted (2010 United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation report).
- Some fishing techniques pose a threat to marine habitats which are the life support system for marine life.
- Marine ecosystems exist in a delicate balance – therefore harvesting a species can have implications for the function of the entire system.
In a previous blog post, we highlighted some South African seafood that appears on the Green, Orange and Red lists – take a look here.
We’d be interested to know; Do you consider the sustainability of seafood before you buy or order it in a restaurant? Will you do so after reading this blog post.