It’s no secret that our oceans are under threat. In South Africa alone, we consume approximately 312 million kg of seafood in a year. This means an increasing number of fish species, crustaceans and molluscs are becoming scarce and even extinct.
In order to combat unsustainable fishing practices, the World Wildlife Fund launched the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI).
Knowledge is Power
The programme aims to educate and empower the public to do their part in the fight against overfishing. The reason why illegal poaching, trawling and other improper fishing practices are still in use is because traders are still able
to make money from the goods.
Teach and Eat
By minimising the demand for rare produce and arming yourself with knowledge as to what species are endangered, you’re taking business away from poachers. Hence the creation of the SASSI list. It has taken into account the different types of seafood and the fishing practices associated with each, and compiled them into a colour-coded guide:
- Green – Best choice. This seafood comes from sustainable sources and includes Cape Rock Oysters, mussels, Hake, Snoek and Cape Yellowtail.
- Orange – Think twice. These species are either rapidly depleting or the current fishing practices are simply not sustainable. Here you’ll find prawns, crayfish, abalone, Geelbek and Kingklip.
- Red – Don’t buy. These creatures are from unsustainable populations which pose environmental concerns or authorities lack management on the fishing practices. Included in this list are Red Stumpnose, Bluefin tuna, Black Musselcracker and Bronze Bream fishes.
However, despite these lists being freely available, many varieties can still be purchased and consumed.
Initiatives such as SASSI are extremely important, not only for the sustainability of our oceans but also for empowering members of the public. At Capsicum Culinary Studio, we encourage our students to take responsibility for the foods they prepare, ensuring they make environmentally sound choices and respect their ingredients. Therefore, our module on fish covers:
- Prepping – to ensure minimal wastage
- Storage – for maximised shelf life
- Cooking – to deliver high-quality dishes
Always remember, the choices you make today have an effect on tomorrow. Always choose sustainable products to ensure that seafood is available for generations to come.
For more information about our fish preparation module and other courses, contact your nearest culinary campus or follow our social media channels to see what’s cooking.
Arm yourself with the knowledge and view the entire green, orange and red SASSI list here.