Western Australia Scalefisheries enter into MSC assessment with Acoura

10 August, 2016

Three Western Australian fisheries are aiming to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for 26 new species to the standard.

The Western Australia Kimberley and Pilbara demersal scalefish trap fisheries and the Gascoyne demersal line fishery include tropical and temperate snappers and groupers, which have never been assessed under the MSC standard before. Included in the 26-strong species list are the Goldband snapper, red emperor and pink snapper – popular on menus throughout Western Australia and in Asian markets. If certified, this will increase the accessibility of MSC certified product and familiarity with the logo in the region.

The assessment team will be onsite in Perth, Australia in September, where they will have the opportunity to meet with fishers, scientists and any other interested stakeholders to discuss the fisheries in detail. The MSC process strongly encourages stakeholder involvement, and ensures rigorous testing of the fishery against the standard, focussing on three principles – the status of the stock, the impact on the ecosystem and how well the fishery is managed.

Polly Burns, Acoura’s Fisheries Technical Officer said; “We’re really pleased to be taking these three fisheries through the MSC assessment process, particularly as they’re using a pioneering assessment method and when none of the species have been assessed before. We’re looking forward to working with everyone involved in these fisheries throughout the process and are hopeful that a successful outcome will further improve consumer awareness and access to MSC sustainable fish.”

All three of the fisheries are managed using an indicator species method, where a species or multiple species are selected to indicate the health of the ecosystem and identify risks. The Acoura assessment team have therefore modified the assessment requirements to be able to assess the fisheries effectively, and look forward to implementing it. Dr Rob Blyth-Skyrme, part of the Acoura team who will be assessing the fishery, said; “As a team, we're looking forward to applying the new multi-species assessment tree, and we're confident that it will prove to be a valid standard to test the Western Australia scalefish fisheries against.”

To find out more about Acoura’s MSC Certification services please contact us today on 0131 335 6600 or email fisheries@acoura.com

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