Fish4Africa is both a middleman and fisher. We engage with both commercial fishing vessels and consumers. Our own and suppliers fishing permits are issued by DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) and therefore we are not illegally fishing. Our traceability policy is clear. DAFF is a regulatory body, SASSI is merely an NGO. As previously mentioned there are often differences between the two lists (DAFF and SASSI) which cause confusion to consumers. Fish4Africa continuously engages with SASSI to identify the grey areas and concerns on their lists.
DAFF undertake their own scientific research in all fishing sectors thus when certain sectors are under-pressure, they put in their own regulatory measures to mitigate unsustainable fishing. Because we are invested in this industry, we participate in projects and have a positive influence on SASSI’s lists (one of our vessels was involved in a research programme which assisted SASSI to move Kingklip from the orange to the green list on SASSI’s list).
We have also participated in research initiatives initiated by CAPMARINE (International Marine Monitoring and Fisheries Consulting Group based in Cape Town) and have shared research data with DAFF to benefit the industry. We are also part of long-standing associations such as The South African Hake Longline Association and The SA Tuna Association to whom we were a contributor to send a SA based representative to ICCAT (The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas).
Being a commercial fisher and retailer, we continuously engage with SASSI and other organisations to ensure that the correct information is supplied to the customer. We encourage the public to openly share their opinions and concerns/questions on social media so that they understand the bigger picture. However, we don’t want to be unfairly criticized because there are differences between the regulatory body and the NGO. Our goal is to keep commercial fishing businesses in business, ensure traceability, satisfy customer demand, and meet regulatory standards as set out by government (job creation, skill development and BEE).
It is imperative that SASSI, as an NGO, works alongside DAFF which governs the industry, with retailers and fishers so that the consumer is not affected by all this confusion as there are bigger factors at play.
As a consumer, you can make a conscious decision when purchasing from all Fish4Africa deli’s (our stores openly display SASSI’s green/orange/red list). Fish4Africa is an advocate for sustainable fishing and we do care.