Marine conservation being taught in the community

How sustainable is your supermarket seafood?

The Marine Conservation Society has looked into the sustainability of seafood available in the UK’s major supermarkets. Supermarkets sell nearly nine-tenths of all seafood in the UK and have a key role to play in helping fisheries become more sustainable.

MCS’s Supermarket Survey is designed to show who is leading the way in tackling overfishing.

But what does this have to do with African Conservation Experience?

Overfishing is a global and environmental problem, threat and disaster. A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation shows that over 25% of all the world’s fish stocks are either overexploited or depleted. Another 52% is fully exploited, these are in imminent danger of collapse. Thus a total of almost 80% of the world’s fisheries are fully overexploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse.

At the Dolphin and Whale Research Centre in Plettenberg Bay, seals on the Robberg peninsular were hunted for their fur and exterminated by 1908. They re-appeared in the early 1990s and their numbers now exceed two thousand. Fishermen in the area are now complaining that as numbers have now substantially recovered, their fish stocks are being dramatically reduced. Part of the DWRC project is to scientifically investigate their claim of reduced fish quantities before any decision can be made as to the course of action to be taken.

The research has shown that seals and fishermen target different resources. Therefore it’s the fishing methods used where action needs to be taken! There is an ever-growing debate between marine biologists and fishermen as to why fish stocks are so low. By joining this project as a marine conservation volunteer, you will work alongside marine biologists helping to conserve South Africa’s resident and migratory marine mammal populations.