Senator Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said the WWF’s latest report is extremely misleading and more about their business model than genuine concern for the sustainability of our marine environment.
“This comes after a false campaign earlier this year which incorrectly claimed that 90 per cent of global fish stocks are overfished. That claim is a complete misuse of the data and actually includes fisheries that are operating at a sustainable level,” he said.
“In fact, research by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations shows that 60 per cent of the world’s fish stocks are fully exploited (sustainably fished) and about 10 per cent are underexploited.
“The hypocrisy doesn’t end there - in 2012 the WWF called for all trawling to be banned in Australia, in complete contradiction to the fact they have backed trawl fisheries such as the Northern Prawn Fishery and the Spencer Gulf Fishery which have MSC certification, as well as the recently certified winter blue grenadier fishery which utilises freezer trawlers.
“The community look to WWF for guidance and it is frustrating to see them abuse that power by providing glossy marketing material in the guise of research.
Senator Colbeck said the report is misleading and fails to share the numerous success stories of our fisheries.
“The recent ABARES Fishery status reports show no solely Commonwealth managed fisheries are subject to overfishing. This is a significant milestone which we should be proud of – it shows our fisheries are exceptionally well managed,” he said.
“The sustainable management of our fisheries has produced some excellent results over recent years, including the re-building of eastern orange roughy stocks to a healthy level which enabled commercial fishing for the first time in ten years.
Australia’s fisheries are managed based on the best available science and are sustainably managed – because of this we are internationally regarded among the best fisheries managers in the world.
Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.