Concern for the oceans drives consumers to ‘vote with their forks’ for sustainable seafood

South African consumers are leading the world in consumer activism to protect our oceans and the seafood we all love. Choosing seafood with the blue MSC label is just one easy way to take action for our oceans this World Oceans Day.

High levels of concern for our oceans are driving a growing wave of consumer activism, research for the Marine Stewardship Council reveals, as consumers increasingly ‘vote with their forks’ to safeguard our oceans.

The largest survey of its kind, involving more than 20,000 people across 23 countries and conducted by independent insights consultancy, GlobeScan, reveals that 77% of South African seafood shoppers already made changes to the way they choose and buy seafood in the last year, in order to protect fish in our oceans.

Consumer activism includes switching to brands or products that say they help protect the oceans or fish (37%), buying different seafood species (22%) and changing where they buy seafood (18%). Nearly 9 out of 10 South African seafood consumers are prepared to take further action in the future to safeguard our oceans.

These actions are being fuelled by the worry held by 42% of South Africans that their favourite fish won’t be available to eat in 20 years’ time. For plenty more fish to be left in the sea, seafood consumers say buying fish and seafood from sustainable sources is vital.

Among the preferred fish and seafood species, a third of South Africans indicated their love for hake. Now in its 16th year of MSC certification, South Africa’s hake trawl was the first hake fishery in the world, and the second groundfish fishery, to be certified against the MSC Fisheries Standard. Brands such as I&J, SeaHarvest and Woolworths’ homebrand sell a wide range of MSC certified Cape Hake.

A number of long-term ecological and economic gains have been achieved by the hake fishery since its first certification in 2004. Optimised fishing practices have led to major environmental improvements including a 90% decline in seabird mortalities associated with the fishery.  

A third of South African seafood lovers say they look for ecolabelled products when shopping, particularly 18-24 year olds and shoppers with children1. Choosing products with the blue MSC label allows consumers to enjoy eating seafood in the knowledge that they have made a positive choice to support well-managed, sustainable fisheries.

Oceans contain up to 80% of life on earth 2, with seafood providing an important source of protein to more than 3 billion people across the world 3.  However, a third of fisheries around the world have been fished beyond sustainable limits, and a further 60% 4 are fished to their maximum capacity.

This World Oceans Day (8th June), the independent, not-for-profit Marine Stewardship Council is launching a new global campaign Little Blue Label, Big Blue Future. The aim is to encourage more consumers to switch to seafood that is certified to its rigorous ‘blue label’ standard.

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive at the Marine Stewardship Council said: “With overfishing, climate change and pollution putting increasing pressure on our oceans, the choices we make as consumers have never been more important. This survey shows people really do care where their seafood comes from and how it is sourced.

At a time when the seafood industry is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we can all play a part in supporting fishers committed to sustainable practises, helping to protect marine ecosystems and safeguarding our seafood supplies for future generations. Choose certified sustainable seafood by looking out for the blue MSC label.”

Please see additional comments and contributions by industry and environmental conservation and sustainability organisations below.

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For media enquiries please contact:

Louanne Mostert
Marketing & Communications Manager, MSC South Africa
Louanne.Mostert@msc.org

Land Expropriation Bill – Dear SA asks for help

MEDIA RELEASE

Dear South Africa, an NGO facilitating public participation, notes a drastic swing in public opinion on the proposed amendment to the constitution catering for expropriation without compensation.

In December 2019, Parliament invited the public to provide written comment by 29 February, on a draft amendment to the Constitution catering for expropriation without compensation. Under South African laws, the government is compelled to grant the public an opportunity to provide an influencing comment on all policy and legislative amendments before implementation. However, such opportunities are often inadequately announced or facilitated, and extracting outcomes information from the government is challenging.

Alongside their 78 other participation campaigns, DearSA has been at the forefront of facilitating public participation by individually delivering over 520,000 public comments to Parliament during this Constitutional Amendment process.

“Although we have seen a concerning overall decline in public participation in this third round, we do note an increase in opposition to the constitutional amendment,” says Rob Hutchinson, MD of DearSA.

Participation from the “in favour” camp has significantly decreased while the “opposed” crowd has grown. Of the 190,573 who participated in this third round, 171,655 (90%) oppose the amendment, 14,870 support it and 4,048 partially.

“In the first round of June 2018, we received over 100,000 public comments in favour of amending the Constitution – 44% of the total participants. This latest third round has seen only 14,870 (8%) directly supporting the amendment,” says Hutchinson.

A full report and list of comments is available for download at this link on DearSA’s website. https://dearsouthafrica.co.za/constitution-eighteenth-amendment-bill/report/

The Committee is now hosting public hearings during March and April to enable those with limited access to internet or data to provide comment. DearSA will be closely monitoring the hearings to ensure a fair and accurate process is followed.

What will happen after the public hearings?

The AdHoc Committee will return the Bill to the National Assembly after considering all the public input. The members of the National Assembly will then vote on the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill. If passed, the Bill will then be brought before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Once passed, the law will allow for the expropriation of land AND property without compensation.

Objectives of the Bill

Subsection 2 (b); Provides for a court of law to make a decision for nil compensation when land or property is expropriated for land reform.

Subsection 3; Sets out the conditions and circumstances that must be considered when a decision is made by a court regarding the amount of compensation.

Subsection 3A; National legislation must be passed that outlines the circumstances when a court may arrive at nil compensation for expropriated land or property e.g. The Expropriation Bill.

Why is Parliament conducting public hearings again?

Parliament, mandated by the Constitution, must ensure that the public is involved in all its processes, including law-making. To satisfy this mandate, the Ad Hoc Committee is inviting all interested and affected parties, individually and or organised, to participate in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, as it relates to Section 25.

The Committee will consider all public input on the amendment of the Constitution in order for the NA to pass the Bill.

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Caution if upgrading Windows 10

If you receive notification to do a Windows 10 upgrade, proceed with caution. This upgrade is not a simple security upgrade, it is a full makeover.

Before you click that ‘Restart to upgrade’ button do it knowing you PC / Laptop will be out of use for at least 4 hours if not longer. And when the frustration of watching the % indicator not changing from one digit to the next, when you thing all is done, things won’t work quite as quickly as you would want. 

Everything from your internet connection to your Google Chrome Browser, even opening a Word document is like watching paint dry.

Hopefully it will settle in and with a bit of keyboard mileage things will improve but it is a frustrating exercise particularly if you have work to do. 

Beware ATM’s during Load Shedding

Collo’s Blog

This is written from a recent and ongoing experience and possibly others have had experienced similar problems when using ATM’s recently.

Two weeks ago 4th February to be precise, I approached an ATM at SuperSpar centre with a spring in my step. After a long, long festive season and an even longer January, access to some hard earned pension funds certainly was reason for my delight.

ATMSlipping my card into the slot and dialling in my code followed by a request for a sizable amount, well sizable for me, it gave me no hint of the disasters and frustrations that would follow, and continue to frustrate.  Instead of dispensing the funds a message appeared advising of a technical issue. Having requested the balance be shown on the screen instead of a printout, I noted that the amount of the transaction had been deducted in spite of not actually dispensing the cash.

My immediate reaction was to call the number listed on the ATM. This was my first mistake for I should have taken a photo of the screen displaying the error message and blocked cash draw. After a lengthy conversation I was advised that a reference would be sms’d to me, none was received. The next day I again approached the ATM and requested my balance which confirmed that money had not yet been refunded. I called the ATM phone number again and was advised that possibly the ATM contents had not yet been processed so to wait 24 hours.

Twenty four hours on and no change to my wealth so I called again and was now told to go to the nearest branch to report the incident. So off to Humansdorp in pouring rain, avoiding potholes appearing like gorillas out  mist of the deluge. Retelling my story face to face this time I was given yet another reference and assured that the money would be refunded within three to five working days

Being unusually patient I waited out the full five working  and with hope and positive thought I tried again only to be disappointed that I had had so much belief that the bank would do me right. Another call to the bank and yet another reference I was told  it would take at least seven to ten days.

Saturday morning hoping that surely enough time had elapsed I fearfully approached the ATM, posted my card in the slop, entered my code, requested a bla balane report and …..

Eskom at that exact moment struck with load shedding and swallowed my card.

Another trip to Humansdorp. a new card application, still no money.

A final check yesterday I called the hoping it would be the last time. Oh how wrong I was for I was informed that the money would not be refunded as …. Wait for it …. I received the money or (inferring I was trying to con the bank)  … someone else stole the money —- or the incorrect balance was not reported when the ATM was refilled.

I now have to go into the branch again, request CCTV footage and lay a claim of theft.

A comment from one staff member during many calls and bank visits was that load shedding was causing them a lot of problems,

The loss of the money aside, that there is no power back up on ATM’s in this day and age is ridiculous and a serious oversight by the banks considering load shedding is here to stay for quite some time. A power backup even if it lasts only long enough to eject the card with a warning of impending power outage would suffice and cost little more than a rechargeable battery with an inverter at a fraction of the cost of the actual ATM.

As for safeguards on money not being dispensed  … well my error for believing I would be reimbursed. 

Anyone else experience problems with ATM’s –  comment below