On Tuesday we held a Longtable event hosted by Founder Member Shoreline Cafe of the Two Oceans’ Aquarium. We were privileged to have the Director, Dr Pat Garrett speak to us about the state of the ocean & the role chefs and suppliers play in the system.

He drew our attention to a book called Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe which shows how chefs can influence the restaurant system as well as the valuable role of SASSI in educating consumers.
He believes chefs are pivotal in swaying consumer tastes and used the example of monkfish to illustrate.

He highlighted the problem of pollution with a growing number of dead spots in the ocean as well as heavy metal pollutants going up the food chain. Acidification of the oceans is a result of carbon emissions and is affected by all our behaviour.

Michael Marriott of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) spoke about the work they do globally as an ecolabel in helping fisheries to become certified as sustainable. We learnt how MSC certified products are viewed as Green by SASSI and how many fisheries could be supported on the Fishery Improvement Scheme. The Shoreline Cafe has been certified by the MSC for its traceability of their fish stock.

Discussions ensued over the small fisherman, SASSI’s project in Kleinmond, middlemen and a bigger picture view of the fish issue. Local, trust, sustainable. Dr. Pat Garrett concluded by highlighting the importance of suppliers, telling us to act now, and support fisheries moving to sustainability!