Sustainable Seafood Day: March 18th

Posted by Josette Dunn on 7th February 2011

People in Australia are becoming hooked on sustainable seafood, says the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), with more fisheries, suppliers and retailers seeking MSC certification to meet growing consumer demand for sustainably-sourced seafood products.

“A growing number of fisheries in Australia, and worldwide, want to show their commitment to sustainable fishing by getting certified to the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fisheries. They want to do this because they’re proud of their contribution to the health of the oceans, and because, increasingly, consumers are insisting on products sourced from well-managed fisheries that are helping to safeguard supplies for future generations,” says Patrick Caleo, MSC Manager ANZ.

Sustainable Seafood Day: transforming the market, one meal at a time

March 18 will be the fifth Australian Sustainable Seafood Day and everyone – seafood processors, retailers, restaurants, workplaces and individual consumers – can show their support for sustainable fishing and help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. Cafes, restaurants, food service companies, seafood producers can show their support for sustainable fishing practices, by promoting and serving MSC certified wild caught seafood bearing the MSC’s blue ecolabel. Individual consumers can help make a difference by simply eating a dish made with MSC-labelled seafood: cook it at home, make a sandwich, or book a table at a participating restaurant.

Last year, more than 29 participating cafés, restaurants and canteens from across the country, served up an array of wild caught seafood, showcasing the wide range of sustainable options available for us to enjoy all year round. In addition, a number of international organisations in the seafood supply chain, such as Compass Group and John West, lent their support as did institutions such as Taronga Zoo and The University of Technology, Sydney.

In 2011, we expect the number of cafes and restaurants taking part to increase significantly and also anticipate growing support from distributors and retailers.

Helping change happen

“Here in Australia, seafood plays a central role in the cuisine of our culture. From fish and chips to fine dining, we are proud of the quality of our seafood and the rich culinary opportunities it offers,” Patrick Caleo says.

“This year’s Sustainable Seafood Day is all about enjoying the nutritious and tasty resources our ocean has to offer, and celebrating the fisheries, processors, retailers and restaurants that work to ensure our seafood supplies are safeguarded for the future. The event over the Easter period – one of the largest seafood consumption periods of the year -is a great way for businesses to experience the market benefits of supporting certified sustainable fisheries, and for consumers to be part of an effective global solution.”

“By supporting Sustainable Seafood Day on March 18, and buying Marine Stewardship Council certified products all year round, we can all be part of the global effort to keep seafood stocks plentiful for the future,” he concludes.

Tom Kime, Executive chef of Fish & Co – The sustainable seafood café in Annandale, adds “as a chef and seafood restaurateur it is vital to be able ensure the quality and provenance of our ingredients. With fish and seafood we need to be able to confidently pass that message of assured sustainability on to our customers. By supporting the MSC’s Sustainable Seafood Day on March 18 restaurateurs are lending their support to those fisheries fishing sustainably.”

There are 67 MSC labeled seafood grocery products currently on sale in Australia including Talley’s New Zealand Hoki, Aldi Supermarkets own brands of Alaska salmon, herring fillets, hoki fillets, albacore white tuna, as well as John West Alaska pink, red and medium red salmon and Birds Eye steam fish range, smoked cod and cape hake steaks.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. It operates the most rigorous and widely recognised certification program in the world for wild capture fisheries. It uses its certification program and ecolabel to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practices; influencing the choices people make when buying seafood and working with partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.