Minderoo Foundation has welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a public consultation process into measures to prevent the importation of seafood from fisheries involving illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices.
Minderoo Foundation established the Fair Catch Alliance and is calling for the introduction of seafood import controls, with significant improvements to traceability and transparency, that will help close the door to IUU seafood.
Emily Harrison, Governance and Policy Manager at Minderoo Foundation’s Sustainable Fisheries Program welcomed the government’s announcement.
“We congratulate the government for moving forward on this important reform to protect Australian seafood consumers, create a level playing field for Australian fisheries and push overseas fisheries to improve their practices,” Ms Harrison said.
“An estimated 65 per cent of seafood consumed in Australia is imported, however, there is currently no regulatory framework to ensure imported products meet legal, sustainability or ethical production standards.
“Requiring seafood that is coming into Australia to have basic traceability information, including where and when it was caught and who caught it, could prevent most illegal or unsustainable seafood from entering the country.
“Australians should be able to rely on the fact that the same rules are being applied to all seafood. This will give consumers, retailers and the hospitality sector the confidence to know that the products they purchase are ethically and sustainably sourced,” Ms Harrison said.
Consumers, industry, fishers, members of the public, government and non-government bodies are encouraged to click here to submit their views on what measures should be taken to stop IUU seafood products from entering Australia. The government will release a final report into the matter in early 2024.
“Unethical and unsustainably caught seafood contributes to overfishing, the degradation of our oceans and marine life, undercuts local industry, threatens Australian jobs, and in some cases involves modern slavery,” Ms Harrison said.
“The responsibility to ensure our seafood meets minimum ethical and sustainability standards should not be left to consumers, retailers or the hospitality sector,” Ms Harrison said. “The federal government must take responsibility for the seafood it lets into the country.”
For more information on the Fair Catch Alliance committed to strengthening seafood import controls visit www.faircatchalliance.org.au.
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.