Sea Harvest’ Chief Executive Officer, Felix Ratheb says it is well-documented that fish stocks in the oceans are under severe pressure from over-fishing as we move deeper into the 21st century, but Sea Harvest’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the disruption caused by humans on fish stocks is within manageable parameters.
“For this reason we subscribe to an ecosystems approach to fisheries (EAF) which ensures that science-based decision making is at the forefront of all our fishing activities. Sea Harvest’s participation in sustainable fishing practices is under-pinned by the industry’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification which will ensure that Cape Hake will be available for future generations. In addition Sea Harvest as part of the South African Deep-Sea Industry Association have voluntarily committed to various initiatives that go above and beyond their MSC requirements by ring-fencing previously trawled fishing grounds and only fishing in those grounds in an effort to prevent damage to the benthic (sediment surface) not previously trawled,” Ratheb adds.
According to Ratheb, Sea Harvest has invested well over R300m over the last two years alone, to position the business for the future whilst still maintaining our sustainable fishing practices.
“Catching and processing deep sea Cape Hake requires a capital and labour intensive operation, including expensive trawling vessels; experienced crew; sophisticated mechanisation of processes to create expert maximum beneficiated product to ensure global competitiveness. Sea Harvest this week launched a freezer trawler the Harvest Miriam Makeba, a 47m Stern Trawler capable of freezing 25-30 tons of fish per day. The addition of a freezer trawler to Sea Harvest’s fleet brings the number of freezer vessels the company operates to four. The additional freezer vessel will create 50 additional jobs and supply local and international markets with healthy, good quality Cape Hake. The addition of a freezer trawler will allow Sea Harvest to continue to create sustainable employment and support for the community of Saldanha Bay on the West Coast,” Ratheb explained.
“Whilst remaining true to our core-principal of sustainable fishing, we at Sea Harvest can celebrate World Fisheries Day with the knowledge that we are contributing positively to the oceans thereby allowing them to continue providing for future generations,” says Ratheb.
World Fisheries Day took place on the 21st November.