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Commercial Fishing news

Selling fish imported from New Zealand as snoek is 'dishonest'

26 Nov 2012 14:50
Snoek is one of the Western Cape's most well-known delicacies, yet, more than half the Snoek found in some of Cape Town's retail chains are imported from New Zealand. SA's Snoek and New Zealand's Barracouta are the same species, but the label "snoek" may give the impression the fish is caught locally, News24 reports.
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"There is enough snoek caught in South Africa for Woolworths and Pick n Pay," said the University of the Western Cape's Dr Moeniba Isaacs who is senior lecturer and fisheries expert at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. "The issue is with having ice at the landing site. There is a lack of investment in that cold chain. It is cheaper to buy imported snoek."

With snoek being a "traditionally and culturally important" part of South Africa since the 1600s, Isaacs argues that "snoek" should be a local, trademarked product name that can only be used for fish caught in local waters, much the same as champagne refers only to sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France. "The labelling should be honest. If it is from New Zealand it should say barracouta," Isaacs told News24.

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