Smartphone technology to aid sustainable seafood choices



Posted on 13 November 2012
WWF-SASSI has joined forces with local software development company The Lateral Alternative to release a BlackBerry app that enables people to make sustainable choices when buying and ordering seafood.

The easy-to-use app invites consumers to check the sustainability of their seafood choice in real time; through using it, they can know whether to tuck in, think twice or avoid altogether.

The app builds on WWF-SASSI’s already popular SMS hotline and developers hope that it will help to extend the reach of this powerful tool by giving consumers an additional, absolutely free way to access this information.

“This app empowers people to get involved in marine conservation in a very real way and to help drive responsible fishing practices, from either a restaurant or the comfort of their own homes,” says Janine Basson, Manager of WWF-SASSI.

“Ordinary people create extraordinary changes. We have seen some fantastic changes driven by concerned consumers. For example, South African kingklip stocks and some key linefish species are showing signs of recovery since WWF-SASSI launched almost a decade ago.

“Other successes are that the South African hake trawl fishery has committed to freezing its trawl footprint and there have been significant decreases in seabird deaths in the South African fisheries due to effective management measures being put in place.”

The WWF-SASSI app, like other SASSI tools, is based on a simple traffic light system (green = best choice from the most sustainable and responsibly managed fisheries; orange = think twice because there are some concerns either relating to the stock status or the fishing method/management of the fishery, and red = avoid completely/don’t buy because it comes from an unsustainable source).

“Using these tools, consumers can find out instantly if their purchase is sustainable or not. This empowers them to use their buying power to shift demand away from overexploited species towards sustainable options, and to use their voice to communicate to restaurants and retailers the importance of seafood sustainability in their procurement practises,” says Basson.

The app has been developed as a BlackBerry application to provide the best possible performance and ease of use on BlackBerry devices. Any user with BlackBerry OS 5 or later, and BBM 6 installed, will be able to install the application.

Android and iPhone versions are in the works.

To access the app, go to Blackberry App World
The WWF-SASSI mobi site is a convenient way to check the sustainability of your seafood.
© Peter Chadwick Enlarge
New SASSI card
© WWF Enlarge
wwfza