Background to One of the Largest Black Fishing Companies in South Africa
Sea Harvest is a well-established, black fishing company in South Africa, with a history dating back to 1964. The company came into being as the result of three firms partnering. Pescanova, a Spanish-owned firm, Imperial Cold Storage, and Southern Sea Fishing Enterprises merged to form Sea Harvest in Saldanha Bay, South Africa.
The company has since then grown into one of the leading fishing companies in the country, and today boasts Level 2 B-BBEE contributor status, evident of the commitment to social and economic transformation in South Africa. The majority shareholder in Sea Harvest is called Brimstone Investment Corporation Limited. The rest of the shareholding is made up by Sea Harvest management and staff, together with the general public. Brimstone Investments is a black-owned group and has since 2009 been the majority stakeholder in Sea Harvest.
Sea Harvest’s headquarters are in Cape Town, but the company also has regional offices in Durban and Johannesburg, and has two factories in Saldanha Bay. The one factory processes fresh hake, as well as by-catch species into frozen products, and the other factory adds value to the products through sauces, batters and crumbs. In addition to the above, the fishing company has exclusive rights to the Mossel Bay-based Sea Vuna fresh fish operations. The company’s fish factories produce a wide range of culinary products, including the likes of steaks and fillets, which are quick frozen or blast frozen for the retail industry.
Sea Harvest is also a responsible fishing company. As a firm focused on responsible management of the South African marine resources, the company complies with quotas imposed by NGOs, international associations and the government. In addition, the company is actively involved in sustainability efforts to ensure that future generations will also be able to benefit from the marine resources in the South African coastal waters.
The company is a member of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association, known in short as SADSTIA, and is a participant in various conservation efforts, such as the Responsible Fisheries Alliance, known as RFA.
The RFA is a non-profit initiative consisting of several organisations that invest in projects to improve the management of the marine eco-system. Member companies, including the likes of Sea Harvest, follow sustainable deep-sea trawling practices, in order to ensure the responsible management of the marine resources.
Sea Harvest’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices is evident in the company being able to carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo, showing consumers of our products that we manage our fishing practices according to environmentally responsible practices. MSC sets the standard for sustainable fishing internationally, and the industry’s recertification for a third time for well-managed fishing practices is testimony of the company’s commitment to environmentally responsible fishing practices.
The recertification also shows that the industry has managed fishing practices in such a manner, so as to protect against overfishing, and thus a decline in the available stock. This is important, also to the consumer, as it shows that Sea Harvest and the deep-sea hake industry take an active role to ensure healthier stock levels of fish in the South African waters.