Source to Sea Programme
South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative Project - SASSI
Why are we concerned about fish?
Seafood is gaining in global popularity both as a fashionable food item and as a healthy food choice. Conservation issues surrounding seafood species are however also increasing. The high demand for seafood, ever-increasing fishing pressures from overfishing and destructive fishing methods are contributing to the declining.
The world's fish populations are in serious trouble!
Recent studies have estimated that the global fish populations will collapse by 2048 if current trends in overfishing and habitat destruction continue, and in some areas, they already have. This will have a significant effect on all fisheries as catches decline to as little as 10% of the maximum catch levels. Findings from an analysis of historical scientific data, reveal that marine biodiversity (the variety of sea creatures, birds, plants and micro-organisms) is in serious decline. Twenty-nine percent of all species are already in state of collapse.
How can YOU help?
As a seafood consumer: Get informed about what you are eating and exercise your sustainable seafood choice. A species list has been compiled to help you make choices that are better for the environment, when buying seafood or dining out. The SASSI pocket guide below will inform you about the conservation status of popular fish species and allow you to consider your seafood choices from an ecological perspective.
What is SASSI?
The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) was initiated in November 2004 to inform and educate all participants in the seafood trade, from wholesalers to restaurateurs through to seafood lovers. The SASSI initiative builds on an earlier project started in Kwazulu-Natal which sought to educate restaurant dealers about South Africa's fisheries law and other marine conservation issues.Download pocket guide.
Who supports SASSI and how is it implemented?
At its onset in 2004, the primary funding/support partners of SASSI were WWF-SA (via funding from The Green Trust) and the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Subsequently SASSI has enjoyed funding from a range of partners including SANLAM, PicknPay and various other partners. The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is the Gauteng implementing partner for WWF SASSI. As such, EWT organises and runs SASSI training courses for people involved in the seafood trade, participates in relevant public events to provide information to and raise awareness of the general public. We also work with law enforcement partners to strengthen compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. Other SASSI implementing partners include Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Wildlife, Two Oceans Aquarium, TRAFFIC, uShaka Marine World and the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB).
What does SASSI hope to achieve?
For more information and to access the SASSI database, visit SASSI at: http://www.panda.org.za/sassi
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Many people often ask about the state of our local fishing stocks and which fish species are the best to choose. Whilst SASSI provides good information on sustainable seafood choices, people still have many questions. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions, answered by SASSI experts.
1. Are there any alternatives to prawns and if not, how do I know whether the prawns are freshwater, farmed or salt water trawled?
2. What kind of tuna is in canned tuna and how sustainable is it?
3. How do I get up-to-date information on the status of fish stocks?
4. How do I know that the fish I am ordering is actually the species being advertised?
5. Which of the commercial fish retailers are the most sustainable to buy from?
6. How long will it take to become a SASSI partner?