Melbourne’s The Fish Shoppe has become the first Australian seafood retailer to be awarded the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Chain of Custody certification.
The Fish Shoppe co-owner Renee Vajtauer said that to achieve this certification the retailer had established direct supply chains with MSC certified fishers around the country.
This was because very few wholesalers have MSC certification in Australia, she added.
“All products sold in our shop are sourced from sustainable fisheries across Australia and New Zealand,” she said.
“However, not all fisheries have MSC certification, so we cross-reference all stocks with Australia’s official monitoring and management authorities including the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences.”
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), which represents the Australian seafood industry, has welcomed the news.
SIA CEO Jane Lovell said: “Between the ocean and your plate seafood can pass through many stages of the supply chain, and MSC’s Chain of Custody certification ensures products from MSC certified fisheries are traceable through MSC certified business from the boat to your bag.”
“We applaud the many Australian fisheries that have achieved certification to standards like the MSC and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
“However it is important to remember that the very fact it is Australian seafood means it has been sourced responsibly due to the high level of regulation, reporting and monitoring that underpins our industry.”
Lovell added that by choosing seafood with the MSC blue label customers were guaranteed that their purchase supports good fisheries management practices and helps to ensure fish-stocks and habitats are healthy.
In December 2018 the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics showed the gross value of Australian fishery and aquaculture production grew to $3.06bn during the 2016–17 period.
For the fifth consecutive year Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries were listed as not subject to overfishing.
According to the report the value of commercial fishery and aquaculture production was up 9% in 2016–17 compared 2006–07 after accounting for the effects on inflation.
The value of aquaculture production increased by 4% in 2016–17 to $1.35bn, largely because of the higher production value of salmonids, which increased by 5% to $756m. Salmonids are ray-finned fish such as salmon and trout.