Barnett Government commits to a sustainable standard for WA’s fishing industry: WWF



[news_posted_on] 18 September 2012  | 
WWF-Australia today applauded the WA Government for committing to sustainable commercial fishing practices that would secure the long-term viability of the industry while working to better protect the state’s precious marine resources.



WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said by signing up to pursuing Marine Stewardship Council certification, the WA Government had committed to the global standard for ecologically sustainable fisheries management.

"MSC certification is the most robust, transparent and ecologically sustainable system, respected by consumers in Australia and around the world. This could add a new level of credibility to the fishing industry and shows that the Barnett Government is serious about making WA’s fisheries leaders in sustainability," Mr O’Gorman said.

"Every single element of the fishery will be analysed by independent assessors, including gear types, impacts of operations on the ecosystem and the health of fish stocks, protecting marine life at every stage of the food chain.

"Importantly, it also gives all stakeholders, including the general public, the opportunity to have their say before and after a fishery is assessed."

The WA Government pledged in March to spend $14.5 million over four years to ensure ecologically sustainable fishing practices and to undergo robust third party certification of its fisheries.

Mr O’Gorman said today's further commitment to use MSC certification would help bring the state up to speed on global best practice and was a significant step in the right direction towards addressing those WA fisheries that are currently below par.

"Consumers are demanding their seafood is caught in a sustainable way,” Mr O’Gorman said.

"This decision offers a great opportunity for WA to be a world leader in fisheries management, particularly in areas such as by-catch and interactions with threatened, endangered and protected species which have caused particular concern. The MSC process provides a fast track to fixing these problems.

"WWF looks forward to to working with industry, scientists and the WA Government to provide advice that puts more effective management systems in place.

"We all want WA to have a sustainable fishing industry that can be recognised internationally for its conservation measures and can thrive now and into the future, while reducing its impact on the environment."

Note to editors:
WWF promotes sustainable fishing practices to complement marine protected areas, and better planned and regulated industry (like oil and gas).

WWF-Australia contacts:
Daniel Rockett, Senior Media Officer, 0432 206 592
Certificate of the Marine Stewardship (MSC) label.
Certificate of the Marine Stewardship (MSC) label.
© WWF-Canon / Elma Okic Enlarge

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