/ Category / Sustainable seafood

Stakeholder engagement in an MSC assessment

In light of recent news of the Exmouth Gulf prawn and Shark Bay prawn fisheries entering assessment in Western Australia, informing stakeholders of where and how to engage in the MSC process is key in offering a transparent and fair assessment.

The MSC assessment process for sustainable fishing rightly prides itself on its transparency and the ability for stakeholders to input into the assessment. There are key times where stakeholders can input into an assessment and I’ll use this blog to help summarise where a stakeholder can raise concerns or put forward a positive viewpoint. An assessment of this scale should take around 12-13 months and to ensure comments are taken on board, they have to be raised in a timely manner. The theory is that all stakeholders interested in a fishery are highlighted before the assessment starts to ensure all those that may wish to input into an assessment are aware of the process. But it never hurts to run through things one more time.

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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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