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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Who Knows How Bad the Current State of our Oceans are?

 For those of you who don't know, I recently agreed to be an ambassador for SASSI, which stands for South Africa Sustainable Seafood Initiative, as I have realized more and more how bad the fishing stocks have become, the biggest problem remains that most people are uneducated to the fact, and there fore ignorance is bliss so they say, so I have taken it apon myself to try to educate as many people as I can about the resources in our oceans, I do not get anything from SASSI for doing this, what I get out of this is to know that my kids are going to be able to grow up eating and enjoying the oceans resources as I have been fortunate to do.

SASSI has developed lists of fish that are:
"Green" meaning that there are sustainable programs in place to keep the stocks at a decent level.
"Orange" meaning that if they are not looked after closely and if programs are put into place they could be facing dia consequences.
"Red" meaning these species are near extinction and should not be eaten, bought, sold or kept if caught. Now these again are just guidelines so that you the public know what are the ethical decisions to make when buying fish or ordering fish in restaurants.

It is also the restaurateurs and chefs social responsibility to inform as many people as they can about these choices, so this is what I embarking on.

I have tried to stay away from any fish species that are orange listed and refuse to buy or sell anything that is red listed, for those of you who have eaten at St Francis Links will realize now that you have not been the normal restaurant favourites on my menu such as prawns, sole and kingklip for 3 years now, however I do not refuse to use or sell it, I just not to as if we act now it still stands a chance to recoup it stocks over the next 10 years or so, however if we do not do something now, it may very well land up like the famous 74, which you will not find anywhere anymore. So I like to choose alternatives like Cape Gurnard makes a beautiful replacement for Kingklip same texture and flavour. I am now also embarking trying to find new alternatives that are green listed species, instead of using orange listed species.

So I only have a limited amount of knowledge on the matter, I have done a training seminar with SASSI, and I have the world ocean report for 2011, but for more extensive information feel free to go to the SASSI website here is the link, also I will be hosting a spring dinner at St Francis Links on the 28th September 2012 and will be doing some cooking demos as well as an in-depth discussion on sustainable seafood, I will also be handing out some pocket cards for dinners to keep in there wallets with the different list of fish, also there is a  FISHMS number that you sms the name of the fish to and you will receive  a sms back with the current status of that species of fish, that number is 079 499 8795.

I would like to run a poll to see how many of the readers of my blog understand the critical condition of our fish stocks, so please complete the poll in the next post.

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