Humans love stories. Proof of this is in the battlefield-depicting panoramas of prehistoric cave paintings, the sweeping sagas written by ancient philosophers and poets, and the past century of cinematic history, from the earliest black-and-white shorts to the modern blockbuster. People will learn anything and heed any advice, so long as it’s plot-driven, and it’s this very human trait that ABALOBI leverages in its effort to protect both South Africa’s small-scale fisherfolk and our coastal ecosystems.
It does this by connecting restaurant diners, via a QR code, with the story behind the seafood on their plate, from what it is and where it was caught to the name of the fisherfolk who caught it, which adds a most wonderful dimension of appreciation to the dining experience. But there’s a more profound importance to ABALOBI than just story-telling.
This non-profit community initiative eliminates money-sapping middlemen from the food equation, thus allowing restaurants to directly source super-fresh, sustainably-caught seafood. This, in turn, returns the vast majority of profit of the catch to the small-scale fisherfolk, which means that they no longer have to catch two or three times the amount just to make ends meet. And this is where ABALOBI’s agenda is truly fulfilled: in protecting both South African marine life and the socio-economic health of the fishing communities it supports.
So, the next time you have a hankering for fresh seafood, dine at a restaurant that supports the ABALOBI initiative. On the other end of your meal will be a story about real humans who responsibly fish to support their families while protecting the plethora of animals that call our coastal waters home.