We’d like to clarify what has been said with regards to the sale of the Black Musselcracker at one of our stores on social media. As Fish4Africa, we are 100% invested in the industry when it comes to sustainable fishing practices and take this matter very seriously. We also follow a very strict traceability policy as this is paramount in order for us to operate in this industry and adhere to all the legal paperwork by having our fishing permits/licences in place from DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – see attached).
Historically, we have participated in various DAFF research programmes and consider ourselves a key role player and contributor to various organisations that impact positively on the fishing industry. At times, we are put in a position where our own and other supply vessels discharge red listed products as part of bycatch, however, still complying with all the necessary permits and licenses. We can attest to the fact that DAFF patrol vessels regularly stop vessels at sea to check their paperwork and therefore all products that we sell in store can be traced.
The fish specie that we received as part of bycatch and as part of a bigger load from the vessel that was purchased has a fishing permit, vessel license and an invoice attached to it – all checks that we do rigourously on a continuous basis before we sell the product at store level. This ensures that we can trace the source and supply with the necessary legal documents to validate this. We also request for a copy of the blue book which gets sent to DAFF.
We can confirm that when the vessels discharge their catch, DAFF inspectors are present. As a business, we are trying to financially/economically support our own and commercial fishing vessels (this is their bread and butter) from whom we are purchasing product without just dumping it back into the ocean, seeing that these suppliers are complying with all the necessary permits and licences.
There are also, at times, differences with what is on the green, orange and red list of DAFF in comparison to SASSI which puts us in a difficult position with what we decide to sell in stores – this often leads to confusion from the customer (education is key in our industry and we are working on promoting this through various channels).
We would also like to request for SASSI to please clarify and share on their page what is implied if a certain product is on the red list so that consumers are properly educated about what this means (this does not mean that it’s illegal to sell this product).
Fish4Africa welcomes all constructive feedback from customers and supporting bodies and would like to thank the general public and SASSI for bringing this to our attention as this gives us the opportunity to show our traceability policies and that we do care about the sustainability of the industry at large.