Within an industry that is highly regulated and where access to marine resources is governed through a competitive application process, it is critical to ensure that the group's operations comply with all of its key stakeholders' expectations, whether they relate to compliance with regulation or policy criteria.
Oceana's long-term sustainability depends largely on the health of the fish resource. To ensure the integrity and soundness of the biomass of fish species that the group harvests, sound scientific knowledge is essential and facilitates proper management of the fish resource. In addition to supporting research by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Oceana commissioned independent scientific studies aimed at improving the reliability of the scientific data in providing an accurate reflection of the current status of marine resources that it harvests.
All of Oceana's commercial fishing rights falling within the green category of the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) consumer list, and the South African hake trawl fishery are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The group's commitment to sustainable resource management led to it becoming a founder member of the Responsible Fisheries Alliance (RFA) in 2009.
A continuing focal point in securing fishing rights for the group remains the assessment of transformation. Oceana has always had a proactive and focused transformation strategy, aimed at accelerating broad-based black economic empowerment
(B-BBEE) initiatives in all seven elements of the B-BBEE scorecard. This is reflected in the results of its annual independent
B-BBEE audit, conducted by independent and accredited economic empowerment rating agency, Empowerdex. Oceana has been rated independently as a black-owned and controlled company with commendable empowerment credentials.
Oceana's 2012 reporting period saw a heightened focus on sustainability efforts with the development of our long-term sustainability framework. The group also successfully aligned its sustainability reporting with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) III.
SUCCESSES IN 2012
During 2012, Oceana celebrated a number of successes in respect of its commitment to corporate responsibility: