MSC fisheries commence latest audits for ongoing sustainability
It’s been a busy start to the year with several of our MSC-certified fisheries preparing for their latest round of fisheries surveillance audits.
The annual audits are part of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification program and are a mandatory requirement to conduct a ‘health check’ on each fishery to ensure it is maintaining sustainability.
To be MSC certified, each fishery has to be independently assessed as meeting the world’s most recognised benchmark for fisheries sustainability.
In WA there are 12 certified fisheries, with more working towards accreditation.
Five commercial fisheries are currently working with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) this month as part of their audit requirements.
These fisheries include:
- Prawns from Exmouth Gulf Prawn Fishery
- Prawns from Shark Bay Prawn Fishery
- Scallops from Abrolhos Islands and Mid-West Scallop Trawl Fishery
- Crystal crabs from West Coast Deep Sea Crustacean Fishery
- Blue swimmer crabs and sea mullet from Peel Harvey Estuary
These audits assess three overarching principles for sustainable fishing:
- Sustainable fish stocks – to ensure overfishing is not occurring.
- Minimising environmental impact – Fishing operations must have minimal environmental impacts on the wider marine ecosystem.
- Effective management – The fishery must have suitable management systems in place which are adaptable and maintain sustainability.
Click here to find out more about the MSC program and the certification process.
WA’s commercial fishing industry are true advocates for the health of our fish stocks and while some fisheries don’t have certification it doesn’t mean they’re unsustainable. In fact, in 2020/21 98 per cent of WA fish stocks were assessed as not being at risk or vulnerable through fishing.
More information on the health and sustainability of all WA’s fisheries can be found here at DPIRD’s website.
The commercial fishing industry appreciates DPIRD’s efforts to assist our fisheries prepare for these audits and maintain certification.