So this past Heritage Day was spent at the Whale Festival in Hermanus. Thankfully the weather held out for us and it didn´t rain. I can´t remember the last time I was in Hermanus and I´ve never attended the Whale Festival before but it was really and truly worth the drive up the coast.
I went up with some friends, one of whom is from the Czech Republic and it made me realise we, as South Africans, have a hell of a lot to be proud of! This friend had never even seen a whale in the wild before! I think the first time I saw a whale in the ocean I was too small to even remember! I mean you don´t even have to drive far to see one, just last weekend we saw one on the way to Kalk Bay from the top of Boyes Drive in Cape Town.
Standing on the cliff in Hermanus after a superb lunch of sustainable seafood, watching the whales spyhopping in the bay, amongst my fellow South African´s on Heritage Day, was definitely a special moment for me. The fact that we can still witness these beautiful creatures in the wild is awesome. I think one often forgets about the vulnerability of our oceans as we are always hearing about overflowing landfills, solar power, fair trade fashion and organic this and organic that, but I think it´s important to remember that our oceans are also in serious trouble.
It is now widely accepted that commercial fisheries are in a state of decline worldwide. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report (SOFIA) from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released in 2006 indicates that over 76% of world fish stocks are exploited at or above sustainable levels.
So the next time you are at your local Woolies or nearest seafood restaurant always be on the look out for seafood that displays SASSI´s green label which means that that fish is from a healthy, well-managed population.