Professional WA Octopus Fishery Achieves World- Leading Sustainability Milestone

WA’s seafood industry has achieved another milestone with Western Australia’s global-leading octopus fishery receiving the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification which highlights the highest level of sustainability a fishery can achieve.

Fremantle crew fishing out of Lancelin

CEO of the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), Alex Ogg, said the certification was a huge achievement for Western Australia’s world-class seafood industry which again goes to showcase WA’s commitment to ensuring the community has access to ethical and sustainably sourced, local seafood.

“This is a major achievement for our octopus fishery which is only the second octopus fishery in the world to attain MSC certification.”

“Western Australian octopus comes from the pristine waters of WA, ranging from Shark Bay to the South Australian border, and the story behind the beloved species is one of success. We have seen the species transition from a bait product, to a highly-sought species that is adored by seafood consumers and renowned chefs across the world.”

“Innovative fishing techniques, including the invention of the octopus trigger trap now used across the whole fishery and fishers paying particular attention to the way they operate around sensitive marine species including humpback whale migration and protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems have led to the fishery to achieve this milestone.”

“The certification provides consumers with certainty and assurance that the products they purchase are sourced, harvested and are fully traceable through the chain of custody from ocean to plate,” he said.

Fishing out of Geraldton

In 2012, WAFIC partnered with the State Government and the MSC in a $14.5 million project to help all of the State’s commercial fisheries undergo an independent third-party assessment with a view to achieving MSC certification.

The certification of WA’s octopus fishery is included to an ever-growing list of MSC certified fisheries including the South sea pearl, abalone, western rock lobster, deep sea crab, Mandurah sea-mullet, Peel-Harvey blue swimmer crab and Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf prawns. The announcement brings Western Australia’s total to nine certified fisheries, putting Western Australia in front as global leaders for sustainability and the protection of marine ecosystems.

In conclusion Mr Ogg said that the important achievement is the result of more than 15-months of rigorous assessment by an independent third-party into the sustainability of the octopus fishery.

“Now certified, the fishery is eligible to carry the MSC’s characteristic blue tick logo providing assurance to seafood buyers and consumers worldwide that the seafood is fully traceable back to a sustainable fishery.”

“We congratulate everyone involved on achieving this exciting feat showcasing their commitment to sustainability and to ensure stock is available for future generations”, Mr Ogg concluded.

Link to Minister Kelly’s media release:

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Photos: Accredited to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)