Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    WA prawn fisheries get independent eco-tick

    25/10/2015 11:00 AM
    • MSC certifies the sustainability of Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay prawn fisheries
    • $14.5m WA Government initiative continuing to enhance the State's fisheries
    • Western Australia is hosting this week's Seafood Directions 2015 conference  

    Two Western Australian prawn fisheries have received independent certification that their operations in Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf are sustainable.


    Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the fisheries were the first from the WA Government's $14.5 million initiative to measure the State's fisheries against the world's gold standard in third party certification.


    "Assessing WA's fisheries through the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) process is helping to future proof our commercial fishing operations," Mr Baston said.


    "Our western rock lobster fishery was the world's first fishery to be certified as sustainable by the MSC and it has maintained that certification ever since, so it's wonderful that other WA fisheries have now gone through the same process.


    "WA's key prawn fisheries have reached the same standard, with a further four fisheries currently going through full assessment for certification and more than 40 WA fisheries have been through pre-assessment.


    "The WA Government's investment will continue to benefit WA fisheries into the future."


    The Minister said congratulations were in order for the prawn fishing operators in the Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay fisheries and that achieving the MSC certification reflected the hard work and commitment to sustainability in their fisheries.


    "These fisheries are currently worth around $30 million a year and the sustainability tick for them puts them on an equal footing with other fisheries that have also recognised the growing consumer preference for seafood sourced from sustainable fisheries," he said.


    Mr Baston said the Seafood Directions 2015 conference that Perth would be hosting this week had attracted industry stakeholders from across Australia and around the world, and today's announcement was a key part of WA's story of commitment to sustainability.


    "Both commercial and recreational fishing play an important part in the lifestyle and potential WA provides, so it's important that we maintain the fish stocks and ecosystems that support them to ensure we deliver not only future prosperity but future pleasure too," he said.


    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 5400