Cape Fish has achieved Best Seafood Practices (BSP) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certifications from the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA), the first-seafood processor in South Africa to earn this distinction.
Envisible, a company specialising in sourcing and traceability technology, sponsored Cape Fish’s certification to remove one of the major obstacles for small-scale producers in attaining certification and reaching larger markets: cost.
Cape Fish works with small-scale South African fishers in a fully-traceable seafood supply chain. The company specialises in the handling of fresh large wild-caught pelagics, such as yellowfin tuna and swordfish. Cape Fish also processes farmed kob and yellowtail amberjack.
‘During my years involved in the fishing industry in South Africa, I’ve grown to value the respect that each pole and line fisherman has toward the ocean and also the tuna that they catch. Because each vessel is privately owned, the vessel owners do not have the funds nor the capacity to obtain internationally recognised certifications which in turn, leaves them unacknowledged for their efforts in catching fish as sustainably as one can,’ said Michelle Bellinger, owner of Cape Fish and operator of sister company, ICV Africa, one of the largest exporters of pole-and-line caught tuna. With a strong focus on empowering women in business, Bellinger has transformed the company with an entirely female management team.
Cape Fish offers a wide range of fresh and frozen seafood products for distribution to restaurants and wholesale buyers, servicing both domestic and international markets.
‘Envisible’s sponsorship of Cape Fish’s certification helped enable a route to market with lower costs for Cape Fish, buyers and ultimately, consumers. We’re proud to collaborate with Envisible to provide greater value to our partners and endorsers and further strengthen GSA’s certification programs by leveraging supply chain data,’ said Global Seafood Alliance CEO Brian Perkins.
Certification also expands the reach of Cape Fish’s product. The Full Circle Market brand brought Cape Fish tuna to market and won a Store Brands Impact Award in December 2022 for ethical sourcing/supply chain transparency.
‘BSP certification has opened markets previously unavailable to Cape Fish and has had a positive outcome for vessel owners, knowing that their labor of love is valued once given the chance to be seen internationally. The only way to bring more small-scale fisheries forward to the point where they can obtain international certifications is for more organizations to recognize the need for bigger parties to step in and offer support in uniting the fishery to take them through the process and to assist with funding,’ Michelle Bellinger said.