On Sustainable Seafood Day, Friday 11 March 2016, the Marine Stewardship Council held an event at the Sea Life Aquarium Darling Harbour to encourage all Australians to buy sustainably caught or responsibly farmed seafood.
Guests enjoyed delicious certified sustainable seafood canapes from the Aquarium’s cafeteria and heard from industry leaders about the importance of sustainably caught or responsibly farmed seafood and the positive changes that have occurred in the industry.
Our ocean supports the livelihoods of one tenth of people on the planet, whilst fishing makes up one-sixth of the protein consumed by people around the world. Seafood is the most consumed animal protein and the most traded food commodity in the world. Wild-caught sustainable seafood has the most lowest carbon footprint of all animal proteins (and beaten by eggs). Unsustainable fishing is harming fish populations, habitats and fishing economies.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies in the future. They have worked with scientists and marine experts to develop the world’s most recognised standard for sustainable wild-caught seafood.
Seafood from MSC certified fisheries can be sold with the blue MSC eco-label so that everyone can make an informed decision to buy seafood from a sustainable source. Annually over 10 million tonnes of seafood, accounting for ten per cent of all wild-caught seafood, comes from fisheries engaged in the MSC program. To meet the MSC Fisheries Standard, fisheries must meet 28 performance indicators for sustainability across the three principles of: sustainable fish stocks; minimising environmental impacts; and effective management.
In Australia, the Western Australian Government has made some commitments to sustainable seafood certification. All WA They have committed 14.5 million Australian dollars to assist all WA fisheries to assess their fisheries against MSC standards. In addition, the South Australian Ogvernment has started to match fisheries’ contributions towards third party certification. In 2015, the world’s first pearl fishery entered into full MSC assessment.
Australia has 10 MSC certified fisheries which produce 19 per cent by volume and 39 per cent by value of Australian wild-caught seafood. These fisheries are:
- Western Rock Lobster
- Northern Prawn Fishery
- Spencer Gulf King Prawns
- Shark Bay Prawns
- Exmouth Bay Prawns
- Blue Grenadier
- Walker Seafoods Albacore, Yellowfin and Swordfish
- Macquarie Island Toothfish
- Heard Island and McDonald Island Toothfish
- Heard Island and McDonald Island Ice Mackerel
Lent and Easter is the time of the year when Australians consume the most seafood.
For more information about sustainably caught seafood and the Marine Stewardship Council, go to: https://www.msc.org/