WA commits $14.5 million to sustainable fisheries
The Western Australian Government has outlined $14.5 million in funding over the next four years on a program to seek third party sustainability certification for the state’s commercial fisheries.
Initial funding of $6.5 million will establish the program while a further $2 million per year will support additional research and management to support the program.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the program was important to provide public confidence that WA’s commercial fisheries could deliver sustainable, wild caught seafood.
“Independent certification will be required to meet the emerging retail trend to only sell fish from fisheries independently assessed as sustainable,” Mr Moore said.
“The State Government knows how important third party certification has been to our western rock lobster fishery, which was the first in the world to receive such accreditation from the international Marine Stewardship Council.
“We are confident that this best-practice process will confirm the State’s fisheries rate among the world’s best and worthy of the tick of approval that independent certification bodies can provide.”
The Minister said major Australian supermarkets recently announced that third party certification would be required for the wild caught fish they sold.
“We must embrace this as an opportunity for our commercial fisheries. European and US fisheries are already well down this path and we must ensure the State keeps pace with how our fisheries are managed and critiqued,” he said.
“Today is Sustainable Seafood Day which celebrates fisheries operating sustainably, so it is appropriate that we take these steps towards getting WA’s commercial fisheries accredited.
“WA has world-leading, ecosystem-based fisheries management and needs to make the most of the effort put into this approach. Certification will complement existing management measures.”
Mr Moore said he was pleased the State’s peak body representing commercial fisheries, WA Fishing Industry Council, supported the project.