SIA reels in Melbourne’s fishers to help build community trust

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak body representing the Australian seafood industry, delivered its ‘Our Pledge’ social licence workshop to members of the fishing industry in Melbourne today.

“’Our Pledge’ is our promise to the community – an acknowledgement of their concerns and a way for us to demonstrate the many, many ways our industry is responding,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.

“Improving community perception of, and trust in, the Australian seafood industry is one of our top priorities.

“There are too many instances of mistruths being peddled as fact. We want the community to hear the real stories of our industry and to be confident that our aquaculture and wild-catch industries are well managed, scientifically based and sustainable.

“We also want the community to be confident that we are committed to looking for better ways to do things – it’s part of the way we care for our environment and our people.

“Victoria is a major part of Australia’s seafood industry. The support and involvement of the fishers here is vital to ensuring a united national approach to building strong community perceptions of our industry.

“With the uncertainty many of these fishers are facing due to the looming threat of being closed down, it was a critical time to visit the area and have the opportunity to discuss ‘Our Pledge’ with members of the local seafood industry.”

Josh and Renee Pearce, owners of The Fish Shoppe, the first Australian seafood retailer to be awarded the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Chain of Custody certification, attended the workshop, considering it a positive step in contributing ideas towards building social licence.

“The big issue facing our local industry is the threat of closures and being pushed by the community,” Renee said.

“There is a disconnect between the people eating seafood and the industry behind it.

“People want to eat seafood but are generally not supportive of the industry’s practices and that’s why it’s important to build our social licence.”

“Being able to provide the seafood industry with security, particularly around access to resources, is one of the reasons we continue to strive for improved social licence,” Ms Lovell said.

“Afterall, we have a responsibility to keep putting great, healthy Aussie seafood on the table for families to enjoy for generations to come.”