SIA reels in NSW’s local 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 local fishing industry in Newcastle 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.

“NSW is such a key 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 restructures and reforms, it was a critical time to visit the area and have the opportunity to discuss ‘Our Pledge’ with members of the local seafood industry.”

Brad Warren, a fisherman who attended the workshop, said the conversation about social licence is one that should’ve happened years ago.

“It was an engaging workshop with a lot of people in attendance and everyone was wanting to have their say. Everyone was interested in having this discussion both amongst each other and for the community,” said Mr Warren.

“The big issue facing our local industry is the restructuring in terms of resource security and resource access, A lot of people are affected.”

“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.”