The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has congratulated commercial fishers working in the Corner Inlet in Victoria for their leadership in embedding sustainability into the official rules governing their operations.
State Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford announced the new rules at a special event in Port Welshpool following a public consultation in which the fishers pushed to have their voluntary standards made official.
Catches from the fishery including high quality king george whiting, flathead and calamari are highly prized by the state’s top chefs and Victorian seafood lovers because of the low impact, sustainable methods employed for decades by fishers. Chefs and the food industry rallied to make supportive submissions to the consultation, including GoodFish ambassador chef Ben Shewry from the award-winning Attica restaurant.
AMCS’s GoodFish program manager Sascha Rust said: “The Victorian food industry are seeking local and sustainable sources of seafood, and the Corner Inlet fishers have gone above and beyond to ensure the sustainability of their fishery for many years, so seafood can be caught and enjoyed not only by their generation, but for more to come.
“We want to see more fisheries in Australia working towards these standards, so we can ensure all fisheries have more fish for tomorrow’s world.
“We also wish to congratulate the Victorian government for their support of this high level stewardship of the environment.”
The new rules solidify sustainable practices which help reduce bycatch in the Corner Inlet, and include allowing setting of fishing gear only twice over a 24 hour period and using only one type of net or fishing method at a time. This helps ensure bycatch can be quickly released unharmed, and reduces pressure on fish stocks.
AMCS’s sustainable seafood program manager Adrian Meder said the simple approach paid dividends garnering Corner Inlet fishers consistently good catches making their businesses economically as well as environmentally sustainable.
“Following these standards makes the fishing better for them and gives us all confidence they will keep getting good catches year after year,” Mr Meder said.
“They know they do not have to keep pushing the environment to get a valuable catch.
“The implementation of the measures further enhances the reputation and value of the fishery to anyone who loves this seafood.”
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