African retailer commits to sustainable seafood
Availability of Marine Stewardship Council-certified seafood products is set to increase on retail shelves in South Africa as Pick n Pay on Tuesday announced that it intends to sell only sustainable fish by the end of 2015.
South Africa’s second largest retailer already currently carries a variety of frozen South African hake products bearing the MSC eco-label and plans to expand its range of certified products across its entire fresh, frozen and canned seafood range.
The announcement builds on a close relationship between Pick n Pay, the MSC and the World Wildlife Fund’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI), which it partnered with in October 2010; it coincided with National Marine Week celebrations in South Africa.
Pink n Pay’s commitment stipulates that by the end of 2015 it will only sell seafood products which are either MSC- or Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified, categorized as “green” by SASSI or from fisheries or farms which are engaged in credible, time-bound improvement projects.
“As one of the country’s largest retailers, we cannot ignore the fact that seafood is inextricably linked to food security and that it provides the primary source of food or income for 2.6 billion people globally,” said Bronwen Rohland, Pink n Pay’s marketing and sustainability director. “As a retailer and significant role player in the seafood industry, we will help to drive positive change in fisheries by supporting and promoting sustainable seafood choices from legal and responsibly managed sources.”
The MSC’s Southern Africa office is working with a number of fisheries in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar toward certification and is also actively engaging with retail and food service partners in the region.
“It’s great to know that Pick n Pay is very serious about using their influence as a leading retailer to help address the threats of overfishing and the degradation of marine ecosystems caused by unsustainable fishing practices,” said Martin Purves, the MSC’s Southern Africa program manager. “This commitment in a huge step forward of the Shoreline Cafe at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town recently becoming the first MSC-certified restaurant in Africa. It shows the South African businesses and consumers are becoming more responsible about the environmental impacts their choices are having.”