Cape hake is found along the South African coast in the shallow waters of the south-east Atlantic Ocean and further away at depths as deep as 1 000 metres. It is the only hake species that is not overfished. Therefore, if you buy our Cape hake products, you will be supporting sustainable fishing practices, and can enjoy your weekly three servings of wholesome protein with a clear conscious.
Of course, if it were not for the responsible management of the deep-sea trawling industry in South Africa, and the active participation in conservation efforts of commercial deep-sea fishing companies, such as Sea Harvest, the picture would have looked completely different. However, the South African deep-sea fishing industry was the first in the world to receive the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and has since then been recertified several times.
The MSC certification is the gold standard regarding the environmentally responsible management of fishing in the world. As such, when you buy our Cape hake, you will see the blue MSC label on our products. This means that we, as a company, have gone the extra mile to ensure the responsible management of Cape hake fishing.
More about Cape Hake
It is a white slow-growing fish that can get as old as 14 years in the wild. The two species found in the South African waters are the Merluccius capensis and the Merluccius paradoxus. The two species of fish migrate to the north during the autumn season and south for the summer period. Cape hake move from the bottom of the sea to the upper levels daily, because they feed on fish and plankton living near the surface at night. Our trawlers catch the fish at the bottom during the day.
Inshore trawling takes place in the shallow waters along South Africa’s south coast, while deep-sea trawling is done in the deeper water from Namibia to the southern coast of the Cape.
How You Know that Cape Hake is Harvested in a Sustainable Manner
All the Cape hake stock is managed according to the Total Allowable Catches system. A strict quota system is in place, which is managed by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. A Deep Sea By-catch Management Plan is also applied, which limits the catch total and locations where trawling is allowed. The deep-sea fishing industry is regulated, and Sea Harvest complies with all regulations.
The company uses larger mesh nets, which helps to reduce the number of by-catches. Sea Harvest applies a tori line system to scare seabirds away from the nets when we haul in the fish. This helps to reduce the risk of bird injuries and accidental catching of the birds in the nets.
Not only do we ensure sustainability when it comes to Cape hake, but we also take extra steps to minimise the effect of trawling on other species and the environment.
When you buy Sea Harvest Cape hake products, you are helping to conserve natural resources for all.