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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Majority of SA’s seafood exported

Most of the calamari eaten in South Africa is imported while the local catch is almost entirely exported due to the premium pricing that it attracts in foreign markets. This emerged in a report by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Traffic to better understand the context within which seafood is bought and sold. Called “From Boat to Plate: Linking the seafood consumer and supply chain”, the report was released at a symposium held under the auspices of the WWF, its Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) and the Marine Stewardship Council this week. It involved highly placed individuals from the environmental and marine scientific fields, as well as fishing industry professionals. The report said: “Similarly, much of the hake consumed by South Africans between 2000 and 2010 was imported, with more than 95 percent of the imported volume coming from Namibia. In terms of prawns consumed in South Africa, 62 percent originated from India in 2010, with volumes also from Mozambique and Thailand.”

It found the South African market was generally poorly equipped to address seafood sustainability challenges. “Of outlets interviewed, 57 percent indicated that they were not familiar with the laws applicable to seafood trade in South Africa and 46 percent had never been inspected by compliance officials. “Interestingly, a quarter of the respondents stated that they used the WWF-Sassi consumer guide to determine which species were illegal to sell.” Speakers at the symposium said the South African hake fishing industry had benefited from proper sustainability certification through improved markets and the greater demand and higher prices that come with it. The symposium focused on the “journey towards sustainability in the South African market” for seafood products and also on small-scale fisheries and fishery improvement projects. Sustainability issues included catch limits, the survival status of target species, the reduction of bycatches and the prevention of collateral environmental damage such as seabird deaths and seabed destruction.

Source: .iol.co.za