WWF-SA recently announced a number of changes to its Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) listings. One of these refer to the status upgrade of hake and kingklip from the orange list to the green list (Best Choice). This is good news for those who are sustainability conscious and have been asked to be cautious in the past about purchasing these species.

The improved status of these species is a result of a collaborative Fishery Conservation Project (FCP) between WWF-SA, the South African Hake Longline Association (SAHLLA) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAFF) with assistance from CapMarine and BirdlifeSA.

Fish4Africa – an established seafood retailer with several stores in the Western Cape and a member of SAHLLA, actively participated in the FCP by assisting with research. This entailed collecting key data and submitting catch stats for processing with the help of their two vessels (MFV Nicolette and Valhalla).

Nicolette Moniz, Operations Manager at Fish4Africa says that the improvements in the SASSI listings have a positive impact on their business as consumers are very conscious of the colour listings for the products that are sold in their stores. She also mentions that it’s important to educate the public about the fishing technique used to catch certain species of fish as this can make a significant difference to the colour under which they are grouped.

These positive changes have shown that is it possible to improve depleted fisheries where various organisations join forces to implement effective fisheries management and Fish4Africa is proud to have been part of this initiative.