Text a Fish

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Aug 01, 2007

HGgry 4 fsh? FishMS, a text service in South Africa helps consumers choose environmentally safe seafood. Watch the Video and read on.

A new tool from Sassi (The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) helps consumers make informed choices about the seafood they buy. Here is how it works: A consumer texts in the name of a fish to the number 079-499-8795 and gets back a message indicating "whether to tuck in, think twice or avoid completely."

According to a release from the World Wildife Fund:

"The feature resulted from cooperation between The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI), local IT company iVeri Payment Technology and developer Tony Seebregts. SASSI has condensed the research on the impact of fishing on fish stocks into guidelines available in a handy pocket card, distilling information on the status of local seafood species into one of three color categories, much like a traffic light. Species marked with a green fish can generally be eaten with a clear conscience because their population numbers are healthy. Orange means they're legal to sell, but if you have a choice you should opt for one of the 'green�'species. Species marked in red are illegal to buy or sell in South Africa."

Sassi now has taken this system into a mobile environment - just in time environmental information in the super market. Jaco Barendse, coordinator of SASSI, says that cell phones are "the ideal way to combine technology and information with the variety of seafood available and the growing awareness among seafood lovers, chefs, food buyers and so on that the ocean's resources aren't infinite. It also "demonstrates to retailers and restaurateurs that those consumers are willing to use their spending power. When shoppers and restaurant patrons start texting to check whether the Catch of the Day is okay to eat, it'll hopefully help drive suppliers buying habits. SASSI FishMS is charged at standard text message rates.

Hat tip to Marty Kearns!

text a fish.JPG

I think it is important to

I think it is important to also inform your readers about how exactly the SASSI number works. Here as an example of how i used it last week. I SMS the words ‘White Steenbras’ to 079 499 8795 and seconds later the answer is SMS’d back to me.

“West Coast Steenbras: RED. White Steenbras: RED.”

This means it should not be bought under any circumstances. Any fish listed as Green (Yes) can be eaten with a happy conscience. Fish listed under Orange (Maybe) can be eaten with squeeze of lemon and a guilty feeling. Anything listed under Red (No) is completely overfished and is hovering on the edge of extinction. Do not buy.

Johnny B
CEO, Halo Smoke Juice Company

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