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Australia’s seafood industry supports Ocean Panel’s Sustainability Agenda

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak body representing the Australian seafood industry, has welcomed Australia’s commitment to sustainable oceans under its representation on the High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel). 

“This month, the Ocean Panel has launched their ocean action agenda, underpinned by the ‘Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: A Vision of Protection, Production and Prosperity’ paper, which sets out a headline commitment to 100 percent sustainable ocean management,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.

“Transformations sets out bold, yet pragmatic, priority actions to transform how the world can protect and use the ocean, and ultimately sustainably manage humanity’s impacts on it, including investments in Australia’s coral reefs and banning the export of our plastic waste.

“The Federal Government marked the launch with a high-level expert webinar in which Prime Minister Scott Morrison celebrated Australia’s advanced efforts in ocean sustainability, noting we have performed ‘well above global targets’ by declaring 36 percent of our national waters marine parks.

“We applaud Mr Morrison and the webinar panel’s commitments to ocean health. David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries, said we cannot trade off healthy oceans for wealthy oceans, and SIA echoes this commitment. There are some big threats to our oceans that need to be addressed, both nationally and internationally, including altering ocean temperatures and currents, plastic pollution, agriculture run-off, coastal and reef restoration, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. As an industry we are supported by robust fisheries management and reporting structures that we must adhere to and we advocate for the global adoption of similar processes. 

“We have wonderful fisheries management structures here in Australia and for the seventh consecutive year (2020) Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries have been given the tick of sustainability. This is something our commercial fishers are very proud of, and is unprecedented internationally. 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. 

“Our oceans support 400,000 Australian jobs and by 2025 Mr Morrison forecasts Australia’s ocean industries will contribute 100-billion dollars to the national economy each year. The Ocean Panel advocates the need for a sustainable ocean economy where protection, production and prosperity goes hand in hand, and Australia’s seafood industry agrees.

“As fishers, our priority is the ocean. It’s our livelihood, and the future livelihood of generations to come.” 



  • Members of the Ocean Panel include Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palau and Portugal. It is supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean. 
  • The Ocean Panel is the only ocean policy body consisting of serving world leaders, and is designed to build momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy, where effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand. 
  • The panel collectively account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s coastlines, 30 percent of the world’s exclusive economic zones, 20 percent of the world’s fisheries and 20 percent of the world’s shipping fleet.

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For more information or to organise and interview with SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta please contact Media and Communications Manager Jessica McInerney

E: [email protected] M: 0420 695 431