Australia’s seafood industry has welcomed World Oceans Day by affirming its commitment to caring for Australia’s oceans, and working with government, scientists and regulators on their shared stewardship.
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) CEO Veronica Papacosta says the industry is subject to some of the most intensive fisheries management and reporting protocols in the world.
“As fishers, our priority is the ocean. It’s our livelihood, and the future livelihood of generations to come,” she says.
“Australia’s seafood industry is known for our world leading practices and with the support of the Australian government we look forward to continuing to advance this position.”
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley says that the Morrison government’s $100 million Oceans Leadership Package would signal an exciting new phase of its commitment to ocean health advancing blue carbon initiatives and marine biodiversity.
“Healthy oceans not only provide a raft of food, recreation and trade services, but also produce 50% of our oxygen, absorb 93% of heat caused by human activity and up to 30% of carbon dioxide emissions,” she says.
“From working with the fishing industry to minimise threatened species interactions, to reduce by-catch and ensure sustainability, to the reconstruction of native shellfish reefs and the everyday things we can all do to keep waste out of our waterways and oceans, today is a chance for everyone to think about the difference they can make.”
Ms Papacosta says Australia’s seafood industry is responsible and produces some of the best seafood in the world.
“As an industry we have made a commitment to the people of Australia through ‘Our Pledge’, which responds to issues the community identifies as important, presenting the industry’s actions, position and perspective,” she says.
“The initiative has been supported by the Australian government and Parks Australia through the Our Marine Parks grants, and we are delighted to share two videos showing ‘Our Pledge’ in action as part of the World Oceans Day celebrations.
“This grant has allowed us to share with the community how as an industry we ‘care for our oceans and environment’, and how we are ‘transparent and accountable for our actions’ via storytelling. The ‘Our Pledge’ campaign is designed to enhance the Australian seafood industry’s position as a trusted, sustainable and prosperous industry.
“For the seventh consecutive year (2020), Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries were given the tick of sustainability. This is something our commercial fishers are very proud of and is unprecedented internationally.
“This has been echoed in the release of the Status of Australian Fish Stocks reports today, which further demonstrates the sound science that underpins our world-class management. Coupled with our aquaculture sector who provide fresh, high-quality seafood, year-round, Australian seafood is one of the best managed and most sustainable protein sources in the world.
“Australians can be confident that every time they buy great Australian seafood that it comes from well-managed, sustainable fisheries, which ensures that our fish stocks will be around for generations to come.”