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‘Unprecedented internationally’: Australian seafood given sustainability tick for seventh consecutive year

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing Australia’s commercial fishing industry, has welcomed the release of the Fishery status reports 2020, which show that for the seventh consecutive year none of Australia’s solely Commonwealth-managed fisheries have been subject to overfishing. 

“This is monumental news which is unprecedented internationally and the Australian seafood industry couldn’t be any prouder,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said. 

“Australia’s commercial fishing industry is one of the most sustainable protein sources in the world, and these reports are a celebration of our country’s seafood industry and the well-managed, sustainable fisheries that supply all of our favourite seafoods.”

“[The report] shows Commonwealth fisheries are well-managed and they are subject to a range of management and monitoring measures to ensure their sustainability,” Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said in a statement.

“Australia’s fisheries span across a large area of ocean, and it’s so important we get it right. Australia has the world’s third largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Australian Fishing Zone is larger than mainland Australia, covering 8 million kilometres squared.

“Australia’s Commonwealth Fisheries have been valued at $437 million in gross value of production (GVP) in 2018–19, which represents 24 per cent of the $1.79 billion GVP of Australia’s total wild-capture fisheries.”

“We know Australians love to eat Australian seafood, and if you want to be certain you’re eating sustainable, healthy, world-class seafood that’s good for you and good for the planet, always ask for Aussie seafood whether you’re at the fishmonger, fish and chip shop, or the local Thai restaurant,” Ms Papacosta said.

“Independent information on the true sustainability of Australian seafood is now more accessible than ever thanks to the free, easy-to-use app of the Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports called ‘SAFS – Sustainable Fish Stocks’. This allows Aussies on-the-go access to true, correct and authoritative information on the sustainability of Australian fish stocks.

“The Fishery status reports 2020 reaffirms that Australians can be proud of their seafood industry which provides fresh, high-quality seafood, year-round.

“It is important to note four solely-Commonwealth managed stocks including the Coral Sea Fishery white teatfish, and the redleg banana prawn in the Northern Prawn Fishery are both now classified as ‘not subject to overfishing’, while the southern and western zone orange roughy in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, have been reclassified as ‘uncertain’ as there was either no or too lower fishing effort to provide a reliable indicator.  

“We do acknowledge four jointly-managed fish-stocks have been reclassified. The brown tiger prawn in the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery is now considered to be not subject to overfishing and not overfished, which is wonderful news. While the remaining three fish-stocks reclassified remain under the care of well supported rebuilding strategies.

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


For more information or to organise an interview with SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta

please contact SIA media and communications manager Jessica McInerney

E: [email protected] M: 0420 695 431