During 2015 National Marine Week, a campaign that aims to educate all South Africans about the role oceans play in their daily lives, is celebrated from 12 - 18 October.
It creates awareness on the marine and coastal environment, the promotion of sustainable use and conservation of these resources, for the benefit of all both present and future generations. The campaign also aims to promote sustainable use and conservation for the benefit of present and future generations.
Celebrations around our marine life have taken place each year since 1988 as government endeavors to create public awareness on marine conservation issues and remind South Africans of our spectacular ocean heritage that provides employment and recreational opportunities for all. South Africa boasts a coastline of over 3 000 kilometres which stretches from the Orange River in the west to Kosi Bay in the east. The oceans along this coastline are rich in marine life and support many different marine ecosystems.
To celebrate this special week, we can learn more about our fragile oceans and its inhabitants in order to help conserve and utilise this natural resource in a more sustainable manner. For example, next time when ordering fish or seafood, try to adhere to the green list as published by SAASI (The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative). Choosing sustainable seafood is easy when using the SASSI colour-coded seafood guide. The easy-to-use ‘traffic light’ system tells you which seafood can be eaten with a clear conscience (green list), which you should think twice about (orange list), and which should be avoided altogether because it’s either considered unsustainable or illegal to sell in South Africa (red list).
Remember to always ask four simple questions about your seafood to find out its sustainability status: What is it called? Where is from? How was it caught or farmed? If it’s not on the green list, why are you selling or serving it?
Ultimately, our choice of one type of seafood over another really does matter to the health of our marine environment. Remember: you have a choice. Make it green!