Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today announced that the Department of Fisheries has chosen the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to provide third party certification of WA’s fisheries. MSC certification is widely recognised as the ‘gold’ standard of fisheries ecosystem performance.
In partnership with the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) and with support from the State Government, we will be working with WA’s commercial fisheries to help them secure independent accreditation of their sustainability. Independent third party certification through the MSC will build on our already strong record in fisheries management.
The significance of the MSC tick of approval is increasingly recognised by the retail seafood industry and consumers, providing confidence that products come from sustainable fisheries.
To achieve certification each fishery must prove they meet three overarching principles:
- Fishing must be at a level which sustains the fish population.
- Environmental impact must be kept to a minimum.
- All local, national and international laws must be met and fishery management able to respond to changing circumstances.
WA’s iconic western rock lobster fishery was the first commercial fishery in the world to receive MSC accreditation. This has proved to be an important part of its success. It has gone on to become the first fishery to be re-certified by the MSC for a third time.
A number of the State’s more than 40 individual commercial fisheries has already undertaken the first steps towards pre-assessment; the initial stage in achieving full certification.
- More than 288 fisheries throughout the world are engaged in the MSC program.
- Six fisheries are MSC certified in Australia.
- 15,000 seafood products worldwide can be traced back to certified sustainable fisheries.
- 206 of these products are available in Australia.
All certified products carry the blue MSC ecolabel.