Take Time to Recognise our Healthy Fisheries on World Fisheries Day
Today marks World Fisheries Day – a day of reflection where our Australian fisheries are thrown into the spotlight and highlighted for their sustainability, enviable management history and health benefits.
Being able to enjoy fresh Western Australian seafood is synonymous with our way of life – whether it is a seafood barbeque in summer with family and friends or a visit to your local fish and chips on a Friday night. But with over 70 per cent of Australia seafood being imported, it is imperative that we take time to reflect on the importance of celebrating and preserving access to our successful wild-caught fisheries and aquaculture sectors that provide fresh and safe produce to seafood loving consumers all year round.
John Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), said that all West Australian’s should be proud of our healthy fisheries – and should be celebrating the hard work of the men and women behind the scenes.
“It is the dedication, commitment and passion of these fishers who ensure that our fisheries remain strong for current and future generations.”
“These men and women provide us with sustainable, safe produce that we can give to our children with the certainty knowing it has come straight from our backyard – such as the waters of Fremantle or the Peel Harvey estuary.”
Mr Harrison said that days like today are important, as they give us time to acknowledge why we should be extremely proud of the management of WA fisheries – and the professional conduct of our fishers.
“Many of our Western Australian fisheries including Exmouth Gulf prawn trawl, Shark Bay prawn trawl, Australian west coast deep sea crab, the west coast silver lipped pearl fishery and wild-caught abalone have been accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) – the highest standard for sustainable fishing.”
“The WA Rock Lobster fishery was the first in the world to achieve MSC certification in 2000 – a huge achievement that placed Western Australia as a world leader for sustainable fishing.”
“Another major milestone was when MSC awarded the Peel-Harvey blue swimmer crab and sea mullet fishery third-party certification. This was the first time a dual-fishery achieved the distinction – which we were, and are, extremely proud of.”
Concluding, Mr Harrison urges the Western Australian community to get behind WA’s great seafood industry and recognise the hard-work and important role that our fishers have and do play in society.
“What we as a community need to realise is that our fisheries, and those individuals who fish them, are critical in so many ways. Not only do our fishers ensure high quality, nutritious seafood is made available to the public – they play a major role in the community through the creation of jobs, the growth of our seafood industry’s history and culture, and providing world class products to the WA economy.”
“If you want fresh, safe and local seafood for the future – you need to support this great industry.”
“And to support this local primary industry we encourage you to buy local. Whether it’s at your favourite restaurant, café or retailer we ask you to ask the question ‘where is this seafood from?”
“We look forward to having clearer labelling in the future to make this process easier for consumers to understand sustainability and origin of the seafood they choose to purchase.”
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