News

Spencer Gulf prawn fishery nets sustainability accreditation

Thursday 22 December 2016

South Australia’s Spencer Gulf King Prawn Fishery has again proven it is top of its class, achieving recertification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).


Originally gaining certification in 2011, the Spencer Gulf King Prawn Fishery was the first king prawn fishery in the world to gain the prestigious MSC certification.

The MSC is an independent environmental accreditation which acknowledges and rewards sustainable fishing.

To maintain the certification, the fishery must undergo recertification every five years, which it has now achieved with the support of a $30,000 State Government grant through the Building South Australia’s Premium Food and Wine Credentials Program.

The fishery has attained the certification until 2021.

Background

The Spencer Gulf King Prawn Fishery is the state’s largest prawn fishery, producing around 1,800 tonnes, directly employing more than 160 people and generating $65 million for the state’s economy every year.

MSC certification requires demonstration of sustainable, environmental fishing practices and strong research. Applications are assessed by an independent team of scientists examining all aspects of the fishery over a 12-18 month period, as well as public scrutiny.

Through the assessment processes, the MSC recognised the Spencer Gulf King Prawn stock as healthy and robust.

The grant program is delivering on the South Australian Government’s economic priority of 'Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world'.

Quotes attributable to Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell

South Australia has a very strong, global reputation for producing top quality seafood and the Spencer Gulf prawn fishers have worked hard to maintain it.

They are a wonderful example to everyone in the fishing and aquaculture sectors of how collaboration can really help industry. I have been on the prawn boats and I can think of few examples in South Australia where the co-operation is stronger.

The State Government is pleased to partner with industry to achieve this significant independent endorsement for our premium wild-caught Spencer Gulf King Prawns.

Recertification will support the fishery to grow market access opportunities and provide a distinguishable competitive edge.

Quotes attributable to Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association Executive Officer Simon Clark

This is a success story where the government has collaborated with the fishery to develop a framework that supports 39 individual small businesses to sustainably access a public resource.

The government can be confident that the fishery is taking responsibility to look after the resource for the benefit of South Australia.

It has been great to see the Minister identifying sustainable fisheries as a key marketable product from this state.

The MSC recertification success reflects well on the governance of the fishery and the quality of the product.

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