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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 7 July 2023

WA's pearl oysters build sustainability credentials

    • Iconic pearling industry sustainability recertified under global standard
    • Industry certification now covers hatchery-produced pearls as well as wild stock
    • The fishery operates in the Pilbara, Kimberley, and Northern Territory
Western Australia's pearling industry is shining brightly this week after achieving its successful recertification under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability standard.

With the initial certification in 2017, it became the first gem fishery in the world to achieve the standard recognising the sustainable fishing of Pinctada maxima oysters to produce pearls and other products.

The recertification expands the sustainability credentials of the pearling industry to include hatchery-produced pearl oysters grown in WA's pristine northern waters, as well as the collection of pearl oysters from the wild.

WA has world-leading fisheries management and research programs that provide the basis for the sustainable harvest of our fish resources for the benefit of the community.

There are currently 12 WA fisheries that hold the internationally recognised 'gold standard' MSC certification, including the West Coast Rock Lobster Managed Fishery - the first fishery in the world to receive the MSC tick, and most recently Rare Foods Australia's abalone ocean ranching operation.

The Cook Government is committed to managing the State's commercial and recreational fisheries in a sustainable way. This also supports jobs and economic growth, which is especially important in regional areas.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Don Punch:

"The recertification of the pearl oyster fishery strengthens its sustainability credentials through its broader application to both wild stock and hatchery-produced pearl oysters.

"Achieving MSC recertification has been supported by the hard work of licence holders Paspaley Pearling Company, Clipper Pearls, Cygnet Bay Pearls and Willie Creek Pearls, who jointly wanted to expand the scope of their sustainability accreditation to include the fishery's hatcheries in WA and the Northern Territory.

"We congratulate our WA Pearl Oyster fishery for its long commitment to sustainability and the fishing industry more broadly around the State, delivering seafood and other products that are good for you and the ocean too."

Last modified: 7/07/2023 2:12 PM

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