Safeguarding our fisheries is one of the most important environmental topics of our time. Recent research has alarmingly highlighted that more than two-thirds of the world’s fisheries have been over-exploited or are fully depleted, and more than one third are in a state of decline. It has become increasingly important for the fishing sector to adopt sustainable practices to ensure that our marine ecosystems and fish species are around for future generations.

South African fishing company, Sea Harvest has been recognised by the Princes Charles Sustainability Trust for its commitment towards sustainability. The company has gone the extra mile to ensure that as their business grows, the local fish-stocks are safeguarded.

Sustainability encompasses three pillars; environmental, social and governance, all of which are at the core of Sea Harvest’s operations. “Sea Harvest was started more than 50 years ago on the shoreline of Saldanha bay. We are unique as we have become the biggest fishing business controlled by a black empowered consortium,” says Terence Brown, operations director at Sea Harvest. “We still exist as a business today because of the sustainable practices that we have adopted over the years.”

“We need to hold business accountable; we are all accountable for our people and our planet,” says Brown. Along with its focus on protecting fish populations, Sea Harvest has recognised that the fabric of its business model is its people. For every 1 tonne of fish caught, 25 people are employed from the local community. Going beyond its employees, Sea Harvest has empowered the community through education programmes and investing in schools.

For a fully sustainable operational model, people, profitability, and the planet can not be treated separately. “We are extremely pleased that our model for sustainability gain international recognition from the Prince Charles Trust. We certainly hope that other fishing companies will follow suit,” says Brown.

For more information about Sea Harvest, visit www.seaharvest.co.za