With initial funding of AUD$6.5m being committed by the State Government to the overall project to seek third party sustainability for Western Australia’s commercial fisheries, FCI was appointed ahead of strong competition to undertake the first of four multi-species pre-assessments of the fisheries in the Gascoyne Bio-Region against the requirements of the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Sustainable Fishing Standard.
According to Mr Gill, who recently travelled to Fremantle in Western Australia to attend the official launch of the sustainability certification programme, FCI will be able to draw upon it considerable experience gained from carrying out multi-species pre-assessments in Europe in ensuring the successful fulfilment of this new project in Western Australia.
In Fremantle, the official award of the contract coincided with the holding of the MSC’s Sustainable Seafood Day Australia, which provided Mr Gill with the opportunity to thank both the Western Australian Department of Fisheries and industry representatives for the opportunity to undertake the project, which should lead over the coming months to a number of fisheries moving forward into full assessment.
Mr Gill said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract. We have assembled an experienced assessment team and look forward to working with the industry and other stakeholders to deliver this initial pre-assessment over the next six months. It has also provided FCI with the impetus and opportunity to build a permanent presence in the region - firstly by ensuring the delivery of this important contract but also by bringing our experience and expertise to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors across the rest of Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region.”