Asia-Pacific’s 1st prawn fishery lands MSC

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 8, 2011

South Australia’s Spencer Gulf king prawn fishery has achieved Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification, the London-based organization announced on Tuesday.

Represented by the Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association (SGWCPFA), the fishery is the first prawn fishery in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region to earn the MSC eco-label. It is also the world’s first king prawn fishery to receive the eco-label.

The certification covers the fishery’s 39 vessels, which are responsible for catching about 2,000 metric tons of king prawns annually.  The catch is taken from an area representing less than 15 percent of the Spencer Gulf, with more than 60 percent of the catch taken from two fishing grounds representing less than 8 percent of the Gulf.

The prawns are harvested primarily by otter trawling and are sold predominantly to markets in Australia and America, as well as parts of Southeast Asia and the European Union.

“King prawns are an integral part of the Australian culture and cuisine, and are one of the most highly sought after seafood products in this country. I’m sure the certified prawns from the Spencer Gulf will be even more highly prized in the future, as the domestic and global demand for sustainably sourced seafood grows,” said Pat Caleo, MSC manager for Australia/New Zealand.

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