The Two Oceans Aquarium's vision is simple - a healthy and abundant ocean for life. To achieve this we support the WWF South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) by communicating their message at every opportunity. One of these opportunities is by hosting training workshops for the staff of restaurants who are embarking on sustainable seafood journeys of their own.
A WWF SASSI workshop starts off by setting the scene and introducing restaurant staff to the issues surrounding unsustainable fishing practices - both worldwide and in South Africa. These include the impacts of overfishing, pollution, the environmental effects of varying fishing techniques, and the different types of mariculture and its environmental impact.
Once attendees have an understanding of these issues, the workshop turns it's attention to solutions. The SASSI programme is explored - what it aims to achieve, how it works, the tools available to restaurants and individuals, and success stories.
We then take the lesson a step further, by asking attendees to look at the menus of their own restaurants and find the SASSI information about the seafood products they offer. To do this, attendees are given access to SASSI's various consumer tools, such as the pocket guide, SMS tool (FISHMS) and (our favourite) the SASSI smartphone app. This works very well to illustrate how the SASSI tools work, and equips restaurant staff with the knowledge to encourage their respective franchises, and customers, to make use of these tools.
Staff are also now equipped with the knowledge to answer the questions that customers, wishing to eat sustainably, may have:
- What type of fish is it?
- Where does it come from?
- Was it caught or farmed?
During February and March, the Two Oceans Aquarium presented three SASSI workshops (two were offsite and one at the Aquarium) to staff from various seafood outlets - Ocean Basket (even their Head office staff), restaurants based at Sun International Hotels in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and the Harbour House Restaurant Group (who you might recognise as Lucky Fish, Live Bair and Sirocco). Overall, 74 restaurant managers, chefs, waitrons and procurement officers underwent the SASSI training - and are now equipped to make sustainable seafood decisions with the help of WWF SASSI.
Want to be part of the next SASSI workshop?
If you are a restaurateur, retailer or work in the seafood industry and would like to be part of the next WWF SASSI please contact Two Oceans Aquarium Deputy Head of Education Bianca Engel on firstname.lastname@example.org.