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Working Together for a Sustainable Seafood Future

AUSTRALIA - March 16 is the Marine Stewardship Councils Sustainable Seafood Day in Australia - a day of celbration for fisheries that have been independently proven to be sustainable against the exacting MSC standard for well managed and sustainable fisheries, and whose products bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

Sustainable Seafood Day provides an opportunity for consumers, restaurants and cafes, food service operators and the seafood supply chain as a whole to work together to celebrate and reward the fishers that have been independently proven to be fishing sustainably.

Consumers can help celebrate these sustainable fisheries by simply eating MSC certified seafood at home, work or at one of the many participating restaurants and cafes on March 16, while restaurants, cafes, and foodservice companies can do their bit by offering and promoting MSC certified seafood on their menu.

As well as the local fresh MSC certified seafood available to restaurants and cafes – West Australian rock lobster, Spencer Gulf king prawns and Lakes and Coroong yellow eye mullet, mulloway and perch – there are more than 100 MSC labeled canned and frozen seafood products currently on sale in Australia. These products can be found at leading retailers across the country and include leading brands such Woolworths’, Coles’ and Aldi’s private labels, John West, Birds Eye and Fish4Ever. The MSC certified seafood available at retailers includes pink and red salmon, albacore tuna, hoki, hake, herring and sardines. To view the complete range of MSC certified products available in Australia visit the MSC’s new Sustainable Seafood Product Finder.

A number of independent restaurants have already signed up for this year’s event and will be serving a range of sumptuous MSC certified seafood meals on the day. These include Fish & Co – the sustainable seafood café, Blue Fish, Agape Organic, The Spice Temple and Rockpool Restaurant in Sydney, as well as, Rockpool Bar and Grill and the Spice Temple in Melbourne and Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth. To see the full list of participating restaurants check the Sustainable Seafood Day website.

Organisers are expecting a number of major foodservice companies to take part again this year. Last year Compass Group Australia, through their Eurest, Scolarest, Medirest, ESS, Restaurant Associates and All Leisure Hospitality brands took part in the event, as did Sodexo Australia. A number of major industry announcements are being planned around the day, as are a series of consumer and media based events.

“We are very excited about this year’s MSC Sustainable Seafood Day. The event is a great way for consumers and the seafood industry to recognise and reward the considerable effort made by fisheries to obtain MSC certification, and to put their sustainability credentials up in lights for all Australians to see,” MSC Manager, Patrick Caleo, said.

“Now into its sixth year, the event reached new heights in 2011 with thousands of Australian consumers and more than 150 restaurants, cafes and workplace canteens taking part, and we are hoping to eclipse that result this time around,” MSC Manager, Patrick Caleo, said.

As a new way of engaging with Australian consumers and the wider seafood industry at large, Australia’s MSC certified fisheries and participating establishments are the focus of a new Sustainable Seafood Day Australia social media campaign, which is currently running on Facebook.

“Through the social media campaign we are hoping to foster discussions on one way that consumers and the supply chain can work together to help safeguard seafood supplies for the future. It is also a great way for us to bring the MSC certified fishers and their sustainability credentials to the fore and raise awareness of the ecolabel amongst those who may not currently recognise it, or know what it represents. We will also be using it to promote SSD events around the country,” Mr Caleo states.

Visit the SSD website and Sustainable Seafood Day Australia Facebook page to see how MSC certified fisheries in Australia are leading the charge for seafood sustainability, and the efforts made by them in doing so.
There are currently four Australian fisheries that have met the MSC standard. These include the newly certified Spencer Gulf King prawn fishery, the West Australian rock lobster fishery, the South Australian Lakes and Coorong fishery and the Heard and MacDonald Island mackerel icefish fishery. There are also three Australian fisheries currently in MSC assessment, including Australia’s largest prawn fishery – the Northern prawn fishery, the HIMI toothfish fishery and the Macquarie Island toothfish fishery..

Lucy Towers

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