Third party certifier chosen for WA fisheries

Media Statement from Norman Moore

•Marine Stewardship Council is WA’s preferred sustainable fisheries standard
•$14.5million previously committed to help WA fisheries achieve certification
•Independent sustainability proof increasingly expected by retailers/consumers

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today announced that international sustainable fisheries certification body, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), would be the preferred scheme to help Western Australian commercial fisheries secure independent sustainability accreditation.
“We are seeking to confirm for West Australians and the world that WA fisheries are sustainable and the MSC scheme is the most widely recognisable and credible third party certification program currently available,” Mr Moore said.
“WA has more than 40 individual commercial fisheries which represent a diverse range of operations and are worth about $400million a year.  Many have already undertaken the first steps towards pre-assessment.
“The State Government is confident this best-practice process will confirm that WA’s fisheries rate among the world’s best and are worthy of the tick of approval.”
In March this year, the Government provided $14.5million towards seeking sustainability certification which covered application fees for each commercial fishery to help them undergo pre-assessment and full assessment, together with the cost of the initial annual audit.
The Minister said a certification advisory panel would be established by the Department of Fisheries to oversee the implementation of the third party sustainability certification program. The panel would comprise department representatives, along with the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), Recfishwest and MSC.
A certification stakeholders’ forum will also be established by WAFIC, for external parties to participate in the process.
Mr Moore said third party certification had been vital to WA’s western rock lobster fishery, which was the first commercial fishery in the world to receive such accreditation.
“The tick of approval from a well-respected third party certification group is increasingly becoming the standard expected by consumers and the seafood retail industry, so the Government is embracing third party certification as an opportunity for our commercial fisheries,” he said.
“I expect WA retailers and restaurants will also become involved and support this very important certification initiative.”
 
Fact File
• More details on MSC:  http://www.msc.org/
• Information on WA’s commercial fisheries available at http://www.fish.wa.gov.au

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