Oceana - Message from the Chief Executive Officer banner

We are an African company, turning global fishing resources into shared value.

Our strategy for growth gears our company to create and share the value that exists where ocean resources and peoples’ needs intersect. At our core, Oceana focuses on conversion: of natural resources into nourishment, growth into jobs and opportunity into partnerships.

After 101 years of learning and innovating, our drive to positively impact lives has momentum. Our pride and passion is making it happen.

Over the past year, I have been reflecting on what it means to create value for society, at a scale commensurate to our operations. It’s a big question and one that I believe is intrinsic to the role of CEO. There will be instances that involve tradeoffs. But in many more cases, with adequate foresight, gearing our operations towards a flourishing society can undoubtedly enhance our growth and competitiveness.

Despite good recent progress, most South Africans still remain concerned about corruption and its long-term impact on our fiscus. These are all material to our SA business and impact our decision-making; solving them will require extraordinary partnerships between business, civil society and the state.

Immediate answers lie in areas we control: the species we target, our employment policies and training initiatives, our supply chains and logistics, and unwavering commitment to accountability. These are all addressed in our Integrated Report and explored in more detail in the pages that follow.

Oceana has maintained a consistent focus on social and environmental issues over the past decade. This is our eighth sustainability report and we’ve been listed on JSE Responsible Investment Index since 2008. Our core purpose has evolved to focus on shared value. Our fisheries are robust and well-managed. Market demand is solid, with growing populations in Africa and Asia seeking affordable high-quality fish protein. We’ve provided job security in a difficult economic context. I am incredibly excited about our new marine training academy and the potential for further collaboration with small-scale fishers under the new rights allocation. All of this leads to a sizeable and sustainable contribution to the country’s socio-economic transformation.

Food Security

Food security is a major global challenge and is expected to escalate because of climate change, population growth and food price increases. Promoting food security by efficiently producing and marketing relevant products for global markets, and promoting responsible fishing practices across our supply chain, remain fundamental business imperatives.

The fisheries sector is crucial to improving food security and nutrition and assisting in reducing poverty and inequality.

As a significant producer of this affordable, low-footprint, healthy source of protein to lower income consumers in South Africa and other African countries, we believe that we play an important role in contributing towards food security.

Sustainable Seafood

The majority (91%) of our harvested commercial fishing rights by volume are on the green list of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI). These species have been assessed as the most sustainable choices, coming from the healthiest and most well-managed fish populations.

This year, horse mackerel and pilchard both retained orange listing. We continue to engage with industry bodies, government officials and other stakeholders in efforts to improve the sustainability of these resources, including through participating in the development of the WWF-SA/DAFF Horse Mackerel Conservation Improvement Project. West Coast rock lobster (WCRL) remains in the red category, reflecting concerns regarding the decline in the health of the population and the impact of poaching and ecosystem decline.

Our hake operation retained its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) chain of custody certification, considered the world’s most rigorous eco-labelling initiative for fishing. In October 2019 Gulf menhaden achieved MSC certification, making this fishery one of the few reduction fisheries in the world to be MSC certified. This year, our five fishmeal operations once again retained their certification in terms of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil organisation (IFFO) Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO-RS).