We have begun a program to provide all of the State's commercial fisheries with the opportunity to achieve external sustainability certification.
Independent third-party certification will build on the Department's strong record in fisheries management.
The program is being undertaken in partnership with the WA Fishing Industry Council and Recfishwest, and with support from the State Government.
The highly-regarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has been selected as the preferred accreditation scheme. The MSC is an independent, non-for-profit organisation that works to ensure the sustainability of global fish stocks and the health of marine ecosystems.
The program is expected to provide a range of benefits to Western Australia including enhanced community confidence in the sustainability of the State's fisheries and greater certainty among fish consumers that their seafood purchases are sustainably fished.
Two fisheries, the Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay prawn fisheries, were the first to be MSC-certified under the program. They were followed by the Peel-Harvey Estuary blue swimmer crab and sea mullet fishery and then the west coast deep sea crab fishery.
More fisheries are being assessed against the MSC standard: pearl oyster, south and west coast abalone (Roe’s, greenlip and brownlip abalone), Pilbara and Kimberley demersal scalefish (trap), Gascoyne demersal scalefish (line) and sea cucumber.
The western rock lobster fishery was re-certified to the MSC standard for the third time in 2012. The fishery was the first in the world to attain MSC certification in 2000.