Second Australian toothfish fishery certified sustainable
The Macquarie Island toothfish fishery (MITF) has gained Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification as a sustainable and well managed fishery, following independent assessment against the MSC standard.
This is the second Australian toothfish fishery to achieve MSC certification in recent times, with the Heard and McDonald Islands toothfish fishery also gaining certification in March this year.
Now, almost a third of the world’s legally harvested toothfish is certified sustainable by the MSC. In total, there are four MSC certified toothfish fisheries worldwide, making up 31% of the global legal toothfish catch. For a full list of MSC certified toothfish fisheries go to www.msc.org.
The MITF has demonstrated the toothfish stocks are healthy, its fishing practices have minimal impact on the marine ecosystem and the fishery is well managed.
The independent assessment was completed in less than 12 months including public consultations, with three experts led by Scientific Certification Systems based in the USA.
Speaking today, Patrick Caleo, MSC Manager (Australia and New Zealand), congratulated the two companies operating within the fishery on achieving certification.
“Both Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline should be commended for their proactive approach in seeking independent, third-party certification of their sustainability.”
“Increasingly here and overseas, the public are looking for assurances that the seafood they are sourcing is sustainable, and both companies have shown courage in opening up their practices to such a transparent, independent and rigorous assessment,” he said.
David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries, is pleased with the recent certification.
“Both Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline are committed to legal, sustainable and productive fisheries. We’ve come a long way from the days of battling against illegal fishing to save stocks. We’ve also introduced new methods of fishing to protect seabirds, marine mammals, and the sensitive environment we fish in.”
“The certification is positive recognition of the collaborative effort between all stakeholders, including Australian Government managers, scientists, compliance officers, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, the 26 CCAMLR Member Governments and their Secretariat, industry, and conservation groups.”
Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia also welcomed the certification and commended the fishery’s proactive environmental measures.
“Sustainable and responsible management of fisheries is an essential step in safeguarding the stunning marine life and ecosystems that surround our country. The certification of the Macquarie Island toothfish fishery is another example of what can be achieved when industry and NGOs work together to make us better environmental stewards of our planet.”
“Through the management regime adopted by the fishery, we can ensure that this ecosystem along with the unique species it supports can be maintained for generations to come,” O’Gorman added.
Media contact: Charlotte Connell, MSC Communications and Marketing Manager. m: +61 (0)422296192 e: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Available for interview
David Carter, CEO Austral Fisheries, on +61 (0)412 198 595
Les Scott, CEO Australian Longline, on +61 (0)419 355 083
Patrick Caleo, MSC Manager (Australia and New Zealand) on +61 (0)410 506 569 or email@example.com
Michael Harte, WWF Program Manager Fisheries, on +61 (0)408 167 381
Sabine Daume, SCS Manager Sustainable Seafood Certification Program, on +1 510 318 2645 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
The Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:
- Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;
- Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
- Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Glasgow, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, Madrid and Stockholm.
In total, over 278 fisheries are engaged in the MSC programme with 161 certified and over 117 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to nine million metric tonnes of seafood. This represents over 11 per cent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Certified fisheries currently land over five million metric tonnes of seafood annually – close to seven per cent of the total harvest from wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 15,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.
For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit www.msc.org.