16 March 2014

WWF hails Ocean Basket’s commitment to sustainable seafood

On Thursday 13 March, Ocean Basket announced at the Two Oceans Aquarium that it was extending its commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood for its restaurants. As a Two Oceans Aquarium partner, we are happy to see Ocean Basket’s continued efforts to this important cause.

“Ocean Basket is one of the Aquarium’s valued partners and we are extremely pleased that they are extending their commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood for their consumers,” says Helen Lockhart, communications and sustainability manager. “We look forward to working closely with Ocean Basket to assist them in meeting their goals.”

Below is the official press release from World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) South Africa:

The Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit at the Two Oceans Aquarium

WWF South Africa has welcomed an announcement by Ocean Basket that they are committed to transforming their wild capture seafood procurement to meet strict sustainability standards by the end of 2017.

The group also aims to ensure that by 2020 all seafood procured from aquaculture operations is responsibly produced.

The franchise has also promised to inform consumers of the common and scientific names, the country of origin as well as the catch/production method of all seafood sold. This will enable Ocean Basket customers to effectively use WWF-SA’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) consumer tools to determine the sustainability status of the seafood they are buying.

Ocean Basket staff will also be trained to help customers make environmentally conscious seafood choices.

Grace Harding, the company leader of the Ocean Basket Group, said: “Ocean Basket acknowledges that our customers have a right to sufficient and accurate information in order to be able to make environmentally responsible choices. We will ensure that by the end of this year relevant species information is publicly available in store for all seafood products that we sell.”

Harding went on to say that Ocean Basket was aware of global concern over the over-exploitation of seafood resources and the environmental impacts of fishery and aquaculture activities on marine ecosystems.

“Ocean Basket will support sustainable and well-managed fisheries and responsible aquaculture operations. We believe this is critical, not only to building a sustainable business model, but also to the long-term maintenance of healthy and productive marine ecosystems, species and livelihoods.”

Ocean Basket has committed to ensuring that by 2017 they will only sell wild-captured seafood products that are:

  • Certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or equivalent standard; or
  • On the SASSI Green list; or
  • Sourced from fisheries that are actively engaged in credible, time-bound improvement projects

Furthermore, Ocean Basket commited to ensuring that by 2020 they will only sell farmed seafood products that are:

  • Certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or equivalent standard; or
  • On the SASSI Green list, or
  • Sourced from farms that are actively engaged in credible, time-bound improvement projects

Note: Ocean Basket, with the assistance of WWF, will determine the credibility of improvement projects on a case-by-case basis and will provide guidance to fisheries/aquaculture facilities as to what constitutes a credible, time-bound improvement project.

Dr Morné du Plessis, WWF-SA’s chief executive officer, commented: “It is very encouraging to see the proactive approach that Ocean Basket is taking by not only addressing its own internal seafood sustainability challenges but at the same time supporting WWF’s broader engagement with the seafood supply chain. This commitment will contribute significantly to our ongoing efforts to keep our fish stocks at healthy levels.”

WWF believes that corporate engagement is key to transforming markets and for adopting and promoting sector-wide shifts to sustainable development and corporate best practice.

Roelof Brink, head of strategic sourcing at Ocean Basket, said: “The reality is that the world’s oceans are under grave threat and as a national seafood restaurant franchise we have a responsibility to actively promote sustainability in our supply chains.

“Our overall aim is to increase the availability of sustainable seafood and promote responsible fishing and farming practices, recognising that a significant proportion of the world’s fisheries/aquaculture facilities do not currently meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability.”

Visit www.oceanbasket.co.za for more info on Ocean Basket’s sustainable seafood targets. Consumers who feel Ocean Basket is not abiding by these commitments, should contact info@oceanbasket.com.

And don’t forget to pay a visit to the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit at the Two Oceans Aquarium.

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