MSC remains a priority amid funding cuts

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) program has been a critically important part of the social licence backbone of the WA fishing industry for a number of years. In fact it has probably never been more important than it is right now.  Over 90% of WA fisheries by value are currently participants in this sustainability accreditation program, at a time when environmental activists are targeting the fishing industry, often liberally funded by overseas sources.

Much of the credit for the inception and subsequent development and management of the program across 11 fisheries in WA has been due to the personal commitment and input of Guy Leyland.  After a stellar 36-year career with WAFIC, Guy finished up on 14 January 2022 and this will stimulate some changes in approach.  At this stage, no new MSC management arrangements have been put in place, but we are looking at an internal WAFIC restructure of duties over the coming months.

Under WAFIC’s significant ongoing GVP funding constraints, the future ability of WAFIC to provide the same level of support as in the past will be challenged.  Cost efficiencies will be forced upon us and some established fishery sectors may have to take on a greater level of stewardship of their portion of the broader MSC program. Regardless of any management adjustments, you can be assured the MSC will continue to remain a priority for WAFIC and the WA fishing industry.

Given the new measures will probably not be in place until late April, it is important that we have some interim arrangements in place to provide ongoing support for the MSC program.

In the first instance, any queries should be referred directly to me at [email protected] for attention.  In some circumstances I will call upon WAFIC Industry Development Manager, Laura Orme, for support and assistance. Her direct contact is [email protected]

Further information will be provided as it comes to hand, but in the meantime we acknowledge the valuable role Guy has played in the past and wish him the best for the future.