We all love a good fish dish, but over-fishing and the exploitation of our oceans is one of the most pressing environmental challenges we face as a generation. In addition, the growing pressure we are placing on our natural resources is rapidly depleting our environment.
The facts are undeniable. The dramatic increase of fish consumption and other marine life over the years has left our waters fully-fished and lifeless. Most line fish is no longer available, and the bycatch (species caught that are not needed) are thrown back into the water with a minimal survival rate. SASSI (The South African Sustainable Seafood Initiation) is an environmental company whose goal is to change the way we approach this urgent challenge.
The way in which anglers fish plays a big role in the status of our ocean environment. Many coral reefs are being damaged by commercial trawling. SASSI has demarcated MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) which allows for an area of the ocean to be conserved, where marine life can live healthily without being harmed by fishing. SASSI has also begun educating fish buyers with a colour coded guide, where the three colours of a traffic light indicate whether fish is endangered or not. This also indicates what is legal and illegal to eat. A great deal of the ocean's debt can be blamed on illegal fishing.
SASSI has developed mobile apps, pocket books and a text based system, where you can check at any time if what you are eating is sustainable (this is also calculated upon your location). They have also partnered with chefs and restaurants to deliver sustainable produce. Fish like angelfish, mackerel, hake, gurnard and oysters are some of the many alternatives one can try. It's time we start being aware and taking action. The longevity of our oceans is at stake.
For more information on how you can make a difference please visit: wwfsassi.co.za