Western Australian prawns certified as global gold standard

Western Australia’s reputation for producing the world’s best seafood has been highlighted with the Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay Prawn Fisheries again achieving the highest possible global standard for sustainability after being recertified to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standards.

Both fisheries were first certified under the MSC Standard in 2015 when the Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay Prawn Fisheries attained MSC certification, demonstrating their commitment to best practice in the seafood industry. They have both been re-certified under the more rigorous MSC Version 2.01 standards, which were introduced in 2018.

WA Fishing Industry Council CEO, Darryl Hockey, said fisheries that meet the MSC Standard are independently certified as sustainable and professionally managed.

“MSC is the world’s leading science-based standard and eco-labelling program for wild-catch fisheries, with certification confirming fishery sustainability as well as respectful environmental management practices,” Darryl said.

Achievement at this level has been made possible through the determination of the skippers, crew, fishing companies and researchers along with the support of WAFIC and the WA Government.

“Australian’s consumers can be confident that Exmouth and Shark Bay certified prawns are a high quality, sustainable choice. Western Australian’s can be proud these local fisheries are meeting the world’s highest standards,” Darryl added.

More than 90 percent of seafood from WA’s commercial fisheries is MSC certified, with certification positioning the Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf prawn fisheries as a premium and highly valued product.

There are now 10 MSC certified fisheries off Western Australia’s coast, with a further two operating in Commonwealth waters off the south coast.

Pictured left to right at the announcement are: Geoff Diver, Sea Harvest; George Kailis, MG Kailis; Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley; and Felicity Horn, Shark Bay Prawn Trawler Operators Association.

Marine Stewardship Council CEO, Rupert Howes said: ”The recertification of the Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf prawn fisheries to the MSC Fisheries Standard is brilliant news – for the fishers, for the industry, for the Department, for the fishing communities and for everyone who loves Western Australian seafood. This is welcome news before Christmas. Nowhere else in the world are prawns so synonymous with Christmas, with our research showing that prawns will be on the Christmas menu for two-thirds of Australians this year.

“I remember welcoming the two fisheries into the MSC program in 2015 at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. It’s fantastic to see the journeys they’ve been on since then to enable this great result with world-class scores in their assessment, with no conditions.  Congratulations to everyone involved. These world-leading and pioneering efforts are ensuring Aussies can enjoy prawns year-round for many years to come. For consumers, it’s easy to spot MSC-certified prawns in-store this Christmas – just look for the blue fish tick,” Rupert said.

For more information on MSC visit https://www.msc.org/home