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'Blue Fish Tick' has been the Key Driver of Sustainable Fishing in Australia for Over Two Decades, a New Report Reveals

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international non-profit on a mission to end overfishing by setting the world's leading standards for sustainable fishing and supply chain assurance, has unveiled two decades of transformative progress in Australian fisheries since 2000.

The Fishing for the Future Report is the first of its kind. It provides a detailed analysis of the positive environmental impacts made by fisheries that have chosen to be assessed against the MSC Fisheries Standard since 2000.

The report underscores a collective endeavour driving more than 116 related to bycatch, ecosystem impact, and effective management. With engagement from governments, environmental NGOs, and other industry bodies, the MSC program sets a precedent for responsible practices worldwide.

In Australia, 28 MSC-certified fisheries, comprising 38 species, make up 52% of the total volume of wild-caught seafood. This achievement surpasses the MSC's global goal of over a third of global marine catch (by volume) to be MSC certified or engaged by 2030. It adds to Australia's proud history of having the world's first and longest MSC-certified fishery, the WA Rock Lobster fishery.

The ocean harbours 80% of the planet's biodiversity, and over the past fifty years, fishing has emerged as the primary factor affecting marine biodiversity. Ensuring sustainable fishing practices is essential for meeting the protein dietary needs of a growing global population and reducing the environmental impact. Stakeholder participation in MSC fishery assessments contributes to more robust fishery performance at a time when fishing impacts on the ocean are exacerbated by pollution and climate change.

MSC Program Director of Oceania and Singapore, Anne Gabriel calls attention to the importance of sustainable fishing practices "As the third largest marine jurisdiction in the world, Australians have an accountability to ensure our ocean is conserved and managed with care. Sustainable fishing is imperative in maintaining healthy fish populations and preserving ocean and freshwater wildlife while supporting livelihoods and securing nourishment for a growing population."

"I hope the 2023 Future of Fishing report showcases the tangible, optimistic outcomes of sustainable fishing in Australia while emphasising the importance of strong leadership and collaboration towards continuous improvement," says Ms. Gabriel.

While MSC’s results show a positive trend in continuous improvement Ms. Gabriel urges more stakeholders to contribute and participate, "While businesses and consumers in Australia are showing growing interest and commitment by choosing sustainable seafood, I would like to encourage steadier momentum from seafood brands, suppliers, retailers, caterers, restaurants, airlines industry, cruise/shipping companies, pet food brands and any organisation that deal with seafood in one way or another. I hope this report shows the business community what is possible when fisheries commit towards an international science-based benchmark for sustainable fishing."

Fisheries volunteer to be assessed by a third party, Conformity Assessment Body, against the MSC Fisheries Standard. By remaining independent from the certification process, the MSC meets best practice guidelines out by ISEAL and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Shopping for sustainable seafood is made easy by looking for the MSC blue fish tick label on over 370 products in Australia.

Source: https://www.msc.org/

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