South Australian sardines under MSC full assessment
The South Australian sardine fishery will enter full assessment to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing. The fishery will be subject to third party independent assessment by accredited certification body MRAG Americas.
The MRAG Americas assessment will score the fishery on three core principles, health of the target stock; impacts on marine environment and fishery management.
The fishery is the first sardine fishery to enter MSC assessment in Australia and it is Australiaâ€™s largest single species fishery operating. If successfully certified, would be the largest MSC certified fishery in the country.
â€˜Our fishery has been operating for 25 years and has always had a culture of sustainability,â€™ said Marcus Turner, Executive Officer of the South Australian Sardine Industry Association (SASIA).
â€˜MSC is a natural extension of this commitment and the values of our licence holders. Weâ€™re seeing the next generation now stepping into management positions, who want to do what is best for the fishery, and further SASIAâ€™s position as leaders in science, environment and sustainability. Thereâ€™s no better way to ensure the longevity of the fishery than to measure it against the worldâ€™s best standard, and continue to grow on our culture of sustainable fishing, by attaining MSC certification.â€™
The initial assessment process has been co-funded between industry by a grant from Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), promoting regional development and premium products.
The catch from the South Australian sardine fishery is primarily used as a local feed source for southern bluefin tuna farms near Port Lincoln.
The sardine fishery has also begun the move into value adding into domestic markets.
â€˜Sardines are a commercially important species in South Australia, but also as a low trophic level species they provide food to a variety of marine life. By undergoing the scrutiny of the MSC science based, stakeholder driven and transparent process, the South Australian Sardine Fishery is showing true stewardship and commitment to this resource,â€™ said MSC Oceania programme director Anne Gabriel.
There are currently 27 certified fisheries in Australia and over 300 around the world.
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