MSC Tour of South Coast and South West
In mid-June, WAFIC MSC project officer Guy Leyland along with MSC officer Matt Watson, and personnel from the Fisheries Department and MRAG Pacific toured key fishing ports in WA’s South and West Bioregions. Starting in Esperance and hugging the coast through to Geraldton, the team gave industry stakeholders a valuable insight into the benefits of MSC certification in terms of potential market benefits, social acceptance and ecological gains. They also highlighted the current gaps preventing individual fisheries proceeding to full MSC assessment.
Industry engagement was strong across the port visits of Esperance, Albany, Augusta, Bunbury, Perth (Hillary’s) and Geraldton. However, the roadshow went further than just engaging with industry. It also reached out to community groups to discuss the value of sustainable fisheries and canvassed how such groups they can play a part in upcoming MSC assessments.
Opening the door and engaging with a wider stakeholder group offers a bridge between the catching and non-catching sectors and can often identify common ground. MSC assessments and stakeholder input go hand in hand (subject to credible evidence being offered to the assessment team) and an understanding of each other’s needs will hopefully enhance the value of this stakeholder driven process.
For more information, please visit our sister site at WAMSC.