In our previous newsletter, we highlighted a growing concern about the diminishing population of the popular West Coast Red Lobster (WCRL). Being one of South Africa’s pioneer fisheries, the WCRL industry is rich in its socio-economic value through job provision, and supporting economic growth.
Due to overfishing, increased illegal harvesting and poor management of the WCRL fishery only 2% of original stock remains. These series of events has sadly shifted the WCRL to the red list, which you may have followed. WWF-SASSI released a draft red-listing for WCRL in 2016 because the resource is sitting precariously close to collapse.
Through WWF-SASSI’s 2016 campaign to ‘Skip the Kreef’. The listing was finalised by the WWF-SASSI team at the end of 2016 to be headed with a warning that kreef could disappear completely from menus within the next 5 years unless radical restoration measures are implemented to save the fishery. The launch of the #SkiptheKreef social media awareness campaign called on consumers to avoid eating this popular seafood over the festive season, as they would any other red-listed species. WWF, along with fishers, submitted an open letter to the Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), to call for a drastic reconsideration. Thanks to consumer power, the campaign reached over 297 000 people on Facebook, 71 000 twitter impressions, 72 print publication, 38 Broadcasts on radio & TV and 90 000 views on You Tube. More importantly major restaurants publicly announced that they will not be selling Kreef this summer. Well done ocean champions!
WWF-SASSI is continuing to call on consumers to use their buying power and voices to protect the species as well as the fishers who may depend on it for their support a WWF-SASSI green listing in years to come.