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Seafood restaurants have responded positively to the #SkiptheKreef campaign by taking the endangered crustacean off the menu.
The message has received wide coverage and WWF Southern Africa Sustainable Seafood (SASSI) programme manager Pavitray Pillay has done scores of interviews with newspapers, television and radio to explain the rationale behind the campaign.
In December, SASSI announced that the West Coast Rock Lobster (Jasus lalandii), commonly known as kreef, was now on its “no-eat’ Red list due to over-exploitation and poor management of the fishery.
The decision also came with the warning that, with only 2% of the original stock remaining, kreef could become commercially extinct within the next five years unless radical action is taken to save the fishery.
In addition, a broad coalition of fishers and WWF-SA has called on government to suspend all fishing of kreef pending the implementation of recovery measures to put the fishery on a more sustainable footing.
Among the restaurants to have publicly endorsed the campaign are the Two Oceans Restaurant in Cape Point which made its position known in a letter to the Cape Times.
Others to make their positions public included Shimmy Beach Club (V&A Waterfront), Ocean Basket Seafood Chain, Voorstrandt Restaurant (West Coast), and many more.
The Lambert’s Bay Tourism office also cancelled its popular Kreef Festival, supporting the call to action to help rescue this vital marine resource and protect the livelihoods of local kreef fishers.
Pillay commented: “We are delighted that so many people have taken this message to heart. Our oceans and its resource can only be sustained if we all work together from the consumer to the retailer, to the fishing industry. It would be unfortunate if such an iconic species like the WCRL/kreef goes the way of the quagga.”
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