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What can the Marine Stewardship Council offer the West Australian fishing industry?

Coastal View

The Department of Fisheries (DoF) certification programme is now well into its initial four year cycle looking to benchmark WA fisheries against an environmental standard. Industry thoughts may now be turning to see what the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) can offer a fishery if the decision is made to engage with this globally recognised sustainability programme.

I have recently joined the MSC Australia team after spending two and a half years with the MSC UK team working on a similar project with the UK inshore fishing industry. So what was the thinking behind this move to Australia? To help show the Western Australian fishing industry the value of engaging with a third party certification scheme. That and of course the personal opportunity for me to live by the coast, away from the hustle and bustle of London and get a bit of sunshine in my life! Anyway, I digress…

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Recent travels across Western Australia’s West and South Coast Bioregions.

Esperance Views

When most people try to gauge the sheer scale and vastness of Australia, thoughts often turn to the Red Centre, the Outback and mile upon mile of unpaved roads traversing the wilderness for hours on end. However, the size and scale of the Australian Oceans can match that of any outback scenery and you just have to turn to Western Australia to really appreciate the diversity on offer underneath the waves. It is for this reason that when the Department of Fisheries looked to undertake an in-depth review of the commercial and recreational fisheries in Western Australia, they broke the work down to four geographically distinct Bioregions. This allowed all involved to really start to understand outcomes in more digestible, bite-sized chunks of information.

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