Sustainable seafood: if it’s Aussie, it’s good
If you want sustainable seafood, ask for Australian. This is the advice of Seafood Industry Australia CEO Veronica Papacosta as she welcomes Australian Sustainable Seafood Week.
“Australia’s commercial fishing industry is one of the most sustainable in the world and Sustainable Seafood Week is a celebration of Australia’s seafood industry and the well-managed, sustainable fisheries that supply all of our favourite seafoods,” Papacosta says.
Many Australian fisheries have achieved certification to standards like the Marine Stewardship Council and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, however Papacosta says the very fact seafood is Australian means it’s been sourced sustainably due to the high level of regulation, reporting and monitoring that underpins the industry.
For the seventh consecutive year Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries have been given the tick of sustainability, Papacosta says. “And the footprint of Australia’s trawlers is one of the smallest in the world. Coupled with our aquaculture sector, Australian seafood is one of the best-managed and most sustainable protein sources in the world.”
Celebrating joint efforts for sustainable seafood
Getting sustainable Australian seafood on our tables is a collective effort involving a diverse cast. It includes fishers and aquaculture operators; processors and logistics operators; chefs, foodservice staff and retailers; and managers and scientists who ensure robust industry regulation informed by evidence-based science. It even includes the consumer who can stay informed and make choices about what they buy.
This Sustainable Seafood Week, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation asked a few of these cast members: “What’s your role in making our seafood sustainable?”
Tuna fisher Todd Abbot from Narooma, NSW, says a big part of how he ensures fishing can continue sustainably is to adhere to regulations which limit the amount he can catch.
Third-generation fisher and Chairman of Fairfish SA for Port Wakefield Bart Butson is passionate about his role in producing and supporting other fishers to deliver sustainable seafood, and encouraging people to try underutilised species of seafood.
For Umar Nguyen, “The Fish Girl” who links seafood producers with chefs who use their products, her role is to create awareness of sustainable seafood products.
Jamie Steel, sous chef at Aurora Restaurant in Adelaide, says it’s about sourcing underutilised species from sustainable fisheries and operators, and educating staff.