RE: China’s super trawlers are stripping the ocean bare as its hunger for seafood grows, September 31, 2018, China correspondent Matthew Carney.
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) is deeply concerned by unfounded and irresponsible statements made in an article by the ABC’s China correspondent Matthew Carney regarding global fish-stocks.
“The ABC has incorrectly reported, ‘The world’s fisheries are in crisis. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates 90 per cent of them have collapsed and China is the major player in their demise.’ However, this is categorically incorrect,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“The 2018 United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report does not and has never included this figure.
“The latest FAO report shows 66.9 per cent of global fish-stocks are being harvested within sustainable levels. This is a considerable improvement from their previous reports. The ABC’s claim that FAO estimates 90 per cent of fisheries have collapsed is completely incorrect. These types of incorrect statements cause unwarranted panic and concern over wild-caught fisheries. This is the sort of fear mongering that damages the reputation of Australia’s fishers.
“Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries are some of the best managed in the world. The Fisheries status reports 2018 released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics (September 28, 2018), showed no fisheries were subject to overfishing for the fifth consecutive year. That’s good news. It means we aren’t harvesting more than is sustainable. We are using our ocean resources in a way that balances the need for protein and the need to keep sufficient fish-stocks to breed and replenish for generations to come.
“SIA acknowledges that internationally there are some fisheries which are not as well managed as ours, but Australia’s professional fishers should not be penalised for international issues, or painted with the same brush, when our local stocks are so well managed.
“As professional fishers, we have a responsibility to contribute to the global food task and we are using the best science available to do this in a way that ensures long term sustainability. It is irresponsible of the ABC to peddle such negative stories that cast aspersions over our local fishers.
“These poorly researched claims, couple with unsubstantiated and routine attacks on Australia’s sustainable, well-managed fisheries are causing unprecedented stresses on our fishers, who, according to our research, experience twice the base-rate of psychological stress of any other sector. Significant contributing factors to these mental health issues are the ongoing attacks on our professional fishers that threaten their livelihood and resource access.”
For more information please contact:
Media and Communications Manager, Seafood Industry Australia
M: 0420 695 431