WA commits to aquaculture certification
Western Australia is playing host to the Seafood Directions 2015 conference. The WA Government is working with the aquaculture industry to promote growth, sustainability and profitability as world demand for farmed seafood rises.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has been chosen by the WA Government as the standard of choice for the performance of aquaculture producers in the State, to be assessed as responsible against both environmental and social requirements.
Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the Seafood Directions 2015 conference, being held in Perth this week, would clearly demonstrate growing consumer expectations that the fish they eat has been sourced from sustainably managed fisheries or fish farms.
“Sustainability in our seafood sector is a key priority for us,” Minister Baston said.
“The ASC applies a third-party certification system, meaning that certification of fish farms and fish product suppliers will be done by independent certifiers.
“For our wild-capture fisheries, WA has embraced independent sustainability certification through the Marine Stewardship Council and has been supporting our commercial fisheries to undertake the necessary assessments.
“We have also been moving to expand aquaculture opportunities in the State and the ASC has a metrics based and transparent assessment program.
“Third party seafood certification plays a vital role in global seafood trade, it’s important that we get this right.”
Chris Ninnes, ASC’s chief executive officer, said the Western Australian Government had shown great leadership in its commitment to a sustainable seafood industry.
He said he was delighted the ASC certification program was chosen as independent verification of the responsible management of the State’s aquaculture.
In August, the WA Government announced its Statement of Commitment to Aquaculture, recognising it as a legitimate user of the State’s land and aquatic resources.