ShapeShapeauthorShapecrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShapeShape

Toothfish on the road to recovery

Rob Fletcher
Rob Fletcher
21 July 2017, at 9:39am

Once under threat from illegal fishing, 60 percent of the global catch of Patagonian toothfish is now MSC certified.

The Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Patagonian toothfish fishery has received recertification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing. Originally certified in 2012, the fishery was reassessed by third-party auditor SCS Global Services. This recertification ensures that the fishery is sustainable and well managed.

“We’re incredibly proud of this fishery, toothfish was once considered an unsustainable choice and today more than half the global catch is MSC certified and continues to meet our scientific standard for sustainability,” said Patrick Caleo, MSC Regional Director Asia Pacific.   

In the late 1990s and early 2000s illicit fishing of toothfish was threatening the population of toothfish and undermining the livelihoods of the fishing operators. Today, 60% of the global catch of toothfish is MSC certified as sustainable.

"Congratulations to the HIMI Toothfish fishery for achieving recertification and for demonstrating true leadership in the successful management of this remote fishery. Consumers in Australia and abroad can trust that toothfish labelled with the MSC blue tick continue to be independently certified as sustainable," says Patrick Caleo, MSC Regional Director Asia Pacific.

The HIMI fishery is managed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) in accordance with measures set by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the international science-based body with 25 member nations tasked with managing Antarctic resources. In addition, both operators, Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline, are active members of COLTO, the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators. Due to robust and collaborative management, there has not been illegal fishing in the region since 2006.

"We are thrilled with our recertification for HIMI toothfish. At Austral, we have a strong commitment to sustainability. From our MSC certifications through to our Carbon Neutral Program, we take pride in our sustainable business practices to ensure we can enjoy seafood for generations to come," said David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries.