South Australian Sardine Fishery Enters MSC Full Assessment for Sustainability

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By Milthon Lujan

UK.- The South Australian Sardine Fishery announces today that it will enter full assessment to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fishing. Upon entering the assessment process, the fishery will be subject to third party independent assessment by accredited certification body, MRAG Americas. The assessment will score the fishery on three core principles, health of the target stock; impacts on marine environment and fishery management.


The fishery is the first sardine fishery to enter MSC assessment in Australia and the largest single species fishery operating in Australia. If successfully certified, would be the largest MSC certified fishery in the country.

“Our fishery has been operating for 25 years and has always had a culture of sustainability,” explains Marcus Turner, Executive Officer of the South Australian Industry Association (SASIA).

“MSC is a natural extension of this commitment and the values of our licence holders. We’re seeing the next generation now stepping into management positions, who want to do what is best for the fishery, and further SASIA’s position as leaders in science, environment and sustainability. There’s no better way to ensure the longevity of the fishery than to measure it against the world’s best standard, and continue to grow on our culture of sustainable fishing, by attaining MSC certification.”

The initial assessment process has been co-funded between industry by a grant from Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), promoting regional development and premium products.


The catch from the South Australian Sardine Fishery is primarily used as a local feed source for Southern Bluefin Tuna farms near Port Lincoln, South Australia. The sardine fishery has also begun the move into value adding into domestic markets.

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“Sardines are a commercially important species in South Australia, but also as a low trophic level species they provide food to a variety of marine life. By undergoing the scrutiny of the MSC science based, stakeholder driven and transparent process, the South Australian Sardine Fishery is showing true stewardship and commitment to this resource.” Said Anne Gabriel, MSC Oceania Program Director.

The MSC standard was established in 1997 and is the only wild caught seafood standard and ecolabelling program to meet United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) guidelines as well as meet Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) benchmarking criteria. There are currently 27 certified fisheries in Australia and over 300 fisheries globally.

Source: MSC

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