Joint release from the Minister for Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries the Hon Jonno Duniam
One of Australia’s largest fisheries, the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) has today achieved the global gold standard for sustainability with the award of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
The MSC certification for the ETBF has been achieved thanks to support from the Australian Government’s Our Marine Parks Grants program.
The certification is based on the sustainability of the fish stocks, the environmental impact of the fishery, and effective fisheries management.
Minister Ley said, “The certification achieved by Tuna Australia for the ETBF highlights Australia’s world-class fisheries management and the interdependency of fisheries on a healthy and resilient marine ecosystem.”
Tuna Australia received a $506K grant from the Australian Government’s Our Marine Parks Grants program. The grant enabled this important fishery to be independently assessed against the MSC Fisheries Standard for sustainability.
The ETBF extends the length of Australia’s east coast from Cape York to the waters around Tasmania. This area includes waters protected in several Australian Marine Parks, such as the 1 million square kilometre Coral Sea Marine Park and Lord Howe Marine Park which protect our offshore marine environment.
“Together with the coastal marine parks of the states and territories and the Great Barrier Reef, Australian Marine Parks form one of the largest marine protected area networks in the world,” said Minister Ley.
“Together with rigorous fisheries management, Australian Marine Parks help protect our unique marine environment while supporting Australian livelihoods and the economy.”
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the certification received by Tuna Australia for the ETBF was well-deserved.
“Australia has a reputation for producing safe, high quality and environmentally sustainable seafood, and Tuna Australia’s certification is a testament to that,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“Australia is a global leader when it comes to fisheries management, and this certification means consumers can have extra confidence that the fish they eat is sustainable.”
The $5 million first round of the Our Marine Parks Grants Program was designed to assist the fishing sector plan for and continue to deliver sustainable fishing outcomes to support the management of Australian Marine Parks.
David Ellis, CEO of Tuna Australia said “Gaining MSC certification demonstrates the sustainability of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and proves that our food producers are stewards of the ocean.
“The certification recognises fishing in marine parks can be done sustainably while enabling Tuna Australia members to access new markets and premium prices. Consumers can be assured that the fish they're eating is from a sustainable source.”
Anne Gabriel, MSC Program Director for Oceania and Singapore congratulated everyone involved in achieving this certification. “Through a rigorous independent assessment process, Tuna Australia has demonstrated that this fishery is meeting world’s best practice for sustainable fishing,” said Ms Gabriel.
“We welcome Tuna Australia members into the Marine Stewardship Council’s global movement of forward-thinking companies which are putting the long-term health of our oceans, and the future supply of seafood, at the heart of their businesses.
“46 per cent of Australia’s marine wild catch by volume is now certified to the MSC’s Fisheries Standard, reflecting strong leadership by Australian fisheries in reducing impacts on the environment.”
For more information about the Our Marine Parks Grants program visit www.parksaustralia.gov.au/our-marine-parks-grants