AUSTRALIA - Western Australian rock lobster is celebrating 15 years since it became the world's first fishery certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Western Australia Fisheries Minister Ken Baston commented: "This is an outstanding achievement for our lobster industry which, more than 15 years ago, had the foresight to realise that third party fisheries certification would play a vital role in the global seafood trade."
At the global Seafood Expo in Brussels, a short film was released to mark the occasion, highlighting the fishery’s commitment and leadership and its continuous work to maintain the world’s most credible standard for sustainability.
The fishery has also been celebrating its strengthening ties with China, where much of its product is exported.
Speaking at the 2015 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Industry Conference in Fremantle, MSC's Director in China, An Yan addressed the Chinese market’s growing demand for traceable seafood.
"There is an emergence of Chinese consumers who are actively looking for seafood that can be traced from restaurant or retailer all the way back to well-managed fisheries.
"It is evidenced by the dramatic increase of seafood imports in China.
"For a long time, China has been the final end market for the West Australian Rock Lobster.
"With 99 per cent of its products exported to China there is a tremendous opportunity to make WA rock lobster stand out from the rest with MSC’s ecolabel program," said Ms An.
The MSC Chain of Custody certification program offers complete traceability throughout the seafood supply chain. Certified businesses use the ecolabel as a mark of assurance that seafood hasn’t been substituted or mixed with non-certified seafood.
Western Australia is also leading the world with its commitment to MSC certification. The State Government’s A$14.5 million certification fund has led to almost all of Western Australia’s commercial fisheries being assessed against the MSC’s Fisheries Standard.
TheFishSite News Desk
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