How the SASSI Green List Helps Consumers to Reduce their Environmental Impact
Consumers who are concerned about the sustainability of fish resources will benefit from using the SASSI green list of alternatives to fish or seafood species which are endangered. An example is that of the local rainbow trout that can serve as an alternative to salmon sushi. With many seafood alternatives available, consumers are also able to reduce the demand on endangered seafood stock. Cape hake is, for instance, listed on the SASSI green list.
The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) was established in 2004 to bring about change in the seafood industry, through cooperation with seafood suppliers and sellers. SASSI was furthermore established to inform consumers about alternative and sustainable seafood options. Various stakeholders, of whom Sea Harvest is one, in addition to scientists, retailers, NGOs and consumers, work with SASSI and WWF South Africa to bring about positive change in the management of marine resources.
SASSI makes it easier for consumers to make informed choices regarding the culinary choices of seafood using a list whereby seafood is categorised according to green, orange and red. The green list contains the seafood and fish which are managed sustainably and are in sufficient supply. The seafood on the green list can be consumed as opposed to fish and seafood on the orange and red lists, thus helping to give the species on the orange and red lists a chance to grow in numbers. This helps to prevent over fishing and the consumption of resources, which if not protected, will become extinct.
Consumers who choose seafood from the SASSI green list thus help to minimise the impact of their culinary choices on the environment. With seafood in high demand over-exploitation of the fishery products is easy. To keep fish stock in abundance, it is essential that suppliers and organisations, in addition to consumers, work together to keep ecosystems balanced. This helps to ensure that there will still be a sufficient seafood supply in the future.
SASSI works with the fishing industry of South Africa. Their fishery improvement projects are aimed at making it possible for fisheries to meet the requirements for sustainability standards through the Marine Stewardship Council assessment scheme. The conservation projects are focussed on the improvement of environmental performance by the industry.
Consumers who want to ensure the sustainability of marine resources can view the SASSI green list of alternatives, and buy their seafood accordingly.