A sustainable lifestyle, or to live ‘green’ has an impact on everything – even our choice of food. And especially our choices of seafood. The oceans are a source of health and nutrition benefits, provide economic opportunities and creates space for social gatherings and recreational activities. Non-sustainable fishing practices have already done a vast amount of damage, exhausted the oceans noticeably and have put the marine eco system in danger. For the future of our oceans it is important that we exercise the correct choices when we eat seafood and also know what types of seafood to avoid – since the seafood market, like any other market, is driven by the demand of the consumers.
A few alarming statistics:
- 312 million kg seafood is consumed in SA
- 50% caught locally
- Of which 70% are Hake and Sardines
- In 1960 10kg of seafood was consumed per person per year, globally
- In 2014 this number increased to 19kg per person (and keep in mind that the population more than doubled in this time as well)
Sustainability is not only about the type of seafood, but equally important is how the fish was caught as well as where the fish was caught.
Examples of seafood on the SASSI (The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) green list:
- Hake (SA trawl)
- Kob (farmed in SA)
- King mackerel & Queen mackerel
- Rainbow trout (farmed in SA)
- Sardines (SA)
- Snoek (SA)
- Yellowfin tuna (SA pole caught)
- Yellowtail (SA)
(More extensive lists can be found on the SASSI website – click here)
For a sustainable lifestyle – think twice
There is also an orange list (think twice before buying) and a red list (do not buy). Seafood can appear on more than one list, depending on the method of fishing as well as the area where farmed.
SASSI has a very informative and user friendly pocket guide that can be downloaded as a reference as well as an SMS line where you can quickly check if your choice of seafood is ‘green’. Send the name of the fish to 079 499 8795 and you will receive an SMS with the status of the specific fish. *Standard SMS-tariffs apply. There is also a free SASSI App that can be used to check the status of seafood before buying.
The SASSI slogan is ‘You have a choice. Make it green’ and they definitely provide all the tools needed for a green and sustainable lifestyle.
Our source: Thank you to SASSI for providing valuable information to the public and for working hard to preserve our oceans. We salute you.