New website to help buyers responsibly source wild-caught Australian seafood
Australian businesses trading in wild-caught seafood can now access an online tool that has been designed to help them determine the stock, environmental, and management risks associated with the products that they buy and sell.
Launched by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), the main aim of the Whichfish.com.au website is to enable seafood buyers to make better informed decisions.
“Whichfish will make it easier for businesses to determine which seafood to source by providing them an independent assessment of the risks associated with wild-caught Australian seafood,” said Patrick Hone, managing director of FRDC.
Each assessment includes an outlook section to indicate whether risks are likely to lessen, remain stable or worsen. Risk assessment reports are available online or the entire list can be downloaded for future reference.
The website currently features the 26 Australian species, including saddletail snapper, eastern king prawn, Balmain bugs and deepwater flathead; with more species due to be added throughout the year.
“Coles recognizes well-managed and responsible fishing is essential for [the] future sustainability of our marine ecosystems, which is why since 2015 all our Coles brand fresh, frozen, thawed and canned seafood has been responsibly sourced. We are delighted with the FRDC initiative which will help continue the sustainability journey in our industry,” said James Whittaker, head of quality and responsible sourcing at Coles.
Whichfish uses elements from the GSSI-benchmarked Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard version 2.0, but is neither a duplicate of it nor a substitute for it, said FRDC. The site shows seafood products from fisheries that have been third-party certified by a scheme benchmarked to the GSSI criteria.
New Zealand species have been assessed using an identical assessment procedure, found at openseas.org.nz