Sustainability

Sustainability

Sustainability is at the heart of our business

For decades we've made deliberate decisions to ensure that all aspects of our fishing and trading operations are as environmentally sustainable as possible, ensuring a secure future for our company, our employees, our customers and of course, our fisheries.

 

          

The world’s population is 7 billion people and growing. Collectively, we must find ways to feed those people and supply healthy, nutritious sources of protein to our customers.

Wild caught fish are a naturally regenerating resource of high-quality protein. If we allow them to reproduce and grow in a clean marine environment and protect the ecosystems they live in, then we can continue to catch fish forever.  That’s the future of our business and we have a strong vested interest in ensuring our own survival, by caring for the health of our oceans and the marine species that inhabit them.

As early adopters and supporters of the Marine Stewardship Council - who have indepdently certified our key commonwealth fisheries and wild caught brands for many years - we take our responsibility as stewards of the ocean seriously.

Our commitment to sustainability is based on science and realised through decisive actions, not just words.

Austral was the first seafood business in the world to be certified as Carbon Neutral. 

To achive this we plant over 220,000 mixed native trees in rural Western Australia to offset all of our carbon emissions. This is certified by the Australian Government's 'Climate Active' program.

Being carbon neutral not only makes our staff proud to work for Austral, it also helps differentiate and enhance the value of our branded products whilst contributing towards tackling the challenges of global climate change.

Carbon neutrality is sustainable, and its good business. It’s good for our people, our products and our planet.

Austral continues to collaborate with a range of stakeholders in the fishing industry, including global fishing industry coalitions, inter-governmental agencies and eNGOs on a range of topics such as best practice fisheries management, science to support fisheries management, and contemporary environmental and compliance issues.

We’ve invested heavily in new fishing gear that substantially reduces by-catch (untargeted species unintentionally caught during fishing) thus reducing our impact on a wide range of threatened marine species and seabirds. Healthy marine ecosystems rely on a delicate balance of species inter-dependence.  We are committed to keeping this balance in check.

With sustainability driving both our short and long term decisions, we have recently invested over $50 million to develop and build a new, world-class fishing vessel for our Southern Ocean fleet: FV Cape Arkona.  

Cape Arkona is one of the most advanced, efficient and versatile fishing vessels of its type in the world.

It also employs world-first hybrid-electric technology. She joined our Southern Ocean fleet in 2020 and has replaced one of our older and less efficient vessels. Cape Arkona will be configured to operate long-lines, trawling and potting, and this unique configuration makes the vessel incredibly versatile.  

Innovative new engine and gearbox design will substantially reduce fuel consumption, making it possible for the Cape Arkona to stay at sea longer, travel further and require fewer trips to port for refuelling.  This helps to substantially reduce our carbon emissions and our operating costs.  The Cape Arkona is a new generation of fishing vessel, built to embody the core values of our business and our focus on sustainability.  

Certified Sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council

MSC Certified Austral Fisheries Logo

Marine Stewardship Council

At Austral Fisheries, we believe that employing sustainable fishing practises is a non-negotiable. This begins with taking care of the fisheries that we operate in, so that they remain healthy and viable for future generations. That is why we have actively sought out what we believe to be the gold standard in independent fishery certification, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and put our fisheries up to the test.

Our four major Australian fisheries that we operate in have been certified by the MSC as sustainable and well managed fisheries. These are:

 


Carbon Neutral & Climate Active

In 2016 we made the decision to take our sustainability commitment to the next level. We recognised that while we were doing real and impactful work to maintain and improve the sustainability of our fisheries, we were simultaneously consuming a large amount of diesel fuel; in the ballpark of 9 million litres. Something had to be done, and so we took the next step in our sustainability journey. We're proud to say that since 2016, we've been certified as carbon neutral as an organisation, and for the wild capture fish and prawn products we catch and sell, all the way from ocean to plate.

Carbon neutrality, or having no carbon footprint, refers to achieving a net zero carbon emission by balancing the amount of carbon released from our business, with an equivalent amount sequestered, or offset. We are also committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy across our Australian offices by 2025.

For further detail, please see our Carbon Neutral Media Pack: