Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) is disappointed to see the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) touting their “seafood guide” as fact.
“AMCS has inaccurately reported that wild-caught Queensland prawn, scallop and bug varieties are fished in an unsustainable manner. Claims which are completely untrue and will only push Australia’s healthy and sustainable seafood off the menu for consumers,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“AMCS is a non-government organisation who is in no way responsible for the collection, collation or management of data, or the reporting of fish-stock levels for any of Australia’s fisheries.
“Responsible for this is the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), who, for the fourth consecutive year, have labelled all of Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries as sustainable. This is something the Australian commercial fishing industry is very proud of. In fact, Australia’s fisheries are considered to be one of the best managed in the world.
“Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), operating out of Northern Queensland, was awarded the internationally recognised Sustainable Seafood Certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in 2012. Only a handful of fisheries in the world carry the iconic blue tick MSC logo, a certification which ensures strict science-based environmental standards for sustainable fishing are upheld at all times. NPF covers approximately 880,000 square kilometres of Australia’s northern waters, including the entire western coast of Queensland, and less than 12 per cent of those waters are fished.
“SIA is shocked AMSC would peddle these claims to the public without fact-checking with MSC, ABARES, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Queensland Seafood Industry Association, the Queensland Government, or any one of the industry’s peak bodies.
“It is a sad day when AMCS’s disingenuous claims, designed to damage the livelihood of the 25,000 families who depend on Australia’s fishing industry for employment, are given as fact.”
SIA commends The Courier Mail for their fair and balanced report in the April 13 edition, which included comment from Queensland Seafood Industry Association chief executive Eric Perez.
The Guardian published an article on April 12 which unfairly reported only comment from AMCS. After contact from SIA, the article was revised to include comment from SIA CEO Jane Lovell and now presents a more balanced report.