Sustainable seafood

King prawns sustainably caught by the MSC certified South Australia's Spencer Gulf prawn fishery. / ©: Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association
King prawns sustainably caught by the MSC certified South Australia's Spencer Gulf prawn fishery.
© Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association
More than 200 million people rely on our oceans for their livelihoods and a further 950 million depend on them as a primary source of protein. However, they are not an inexhaustible supply of food and resources. Destructive fishing methods, bycatch and overfishing, are pushing our oceans to their limits.

By making the choice to only buy and eat sustainable seafood, consumers can contribute to the long-term health of our oceans. This choice also supports those fisheries operating sustainably and encourages others to follow suit.

The Asia-Pacific region is an important seafood market for Australia. We produce, export and import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of seafood each year to and from the region. The social, economic and environmental well-being of the region’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors are inextricably intertwined with ours.

As part of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative, WWF-Australia is working with leading seafood businesses to help them make the transition towards sourcing and stocking only ecologically sustainable products. These organisations are chosen because of their progressive practices and significant influence 
over supply chains. We support their efforts to set an example for responsible seafood production and sustainable sourcing. Ultimately, we hope this will transform the entire industry across the Asia- Pacific region.

WWF has partnered with Blackmores, Coles, John West and Tassal to help them transition to responsibly sourced seafood and fish oil products by 2015. WWF
 and our partners recognise Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification as the highest standards available for sourcing sustainably caught and responsibly farmed seafood. Our partners have also signed the WWF Global Seafood Charter which sets out clear principles and objectives to safeguard marine ecosystems, ensuring the long-term viability of seafood supplies.

2016 TARGETS

Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) shoal, captive, Malta, Mediteranean, May 2009. / ©: Wild Wonders of Europe / Zankl / WWF
75% of Australia seafood (by volume) subject to regulatory and market mechanisms that ensure transparent and traceable supply of seafood from boat to plate.

Our partners

Coles partnered with WWF in 2011 to improve the sustainability of the seafood supply chain in Australia, and educate consumers about responsible seafood choices, including Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified products.
Read more on our partnership with Coles.


In 2012, John West partnered with WWF-Australia. Through the partnership, John West and its suppliers will be able to make more informed sourcing decisions and stock only sustainably-sourced seafood – including supplying products that are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified.
Read more on our partnership with John West.


Tassal partnered with WWF-Australia in 2012 to work towards improving the sustainability of the seafood farming sector in Australia. As the industry leader in aquaculture, Tassal is seeking to help customers make informed choices through the use of clear and accurate labelling. Tassal aims to obtain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its farmed salmon products once this label becomes available.
Read more on our partnership with Tassal.


Blackmores is partnering with WWF as part of its commitment to achieving the highest possible standard for sustainable fish oils by 2015 and to educate consumers about responsible fish and krill oil, including Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified products
Read more on our partnership with Blackmores.

So what is MSC? What is ASC?

  • The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, non-profit organisation set up to address the problem of overfishing. It has set an environmental standard for sustainable fisheries, and seafood that meets this standard carries a distinctive blue MSC label. This label can help you to identify sustainable seafood products sourced from wild fisheries. Find out more Marine Stewardship Council.
     
  • The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is also an independent, non-profit organisation that has been set up to manage a global set of standards for responsible aquaculture. Aquaculture products that meet these specific standards will carry the ASC label. This label will help you to identify sustainable seafood products sourced from fish or shellfish farms. Find out more about Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

MSC CERTIFIED FISHERIES IN AUSTRALIA

  • Western Australia rock lobster fishery (the first fishery in the world to gain MSC certification)
  • Spencer Gulf king prawn fishery (the world's first MSC certified king prawn fishery)
  • Australian Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) mackerel icefish fishery
  • South Australia Lakes and Coorong fishery (which provides mulloway, golden perch, yellow-eye mullet and pipis)
  • Northern prawn fishery
  • Australian Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) toothfish fishery
  • Macquarie Island toothfish fishery.