The small pelagic fishery (located in central and southern areas of Australia) has been the subject of significant research and assessment over many years, and is considered one of Australia’s most conservatively managed fisheries.
Seafish Tasmania is committed to ensuring sustainable fishing for generations to come. To make certain our oceanic ecosystems sustain their healthy habitats, we have applied for an independent assessment of our fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
The MSC is a global non-profit organisation that works with partners to transform the world’s seafood markets and promote sustainable fishing practices. MSC assessment is concerned with the
sustainability of the fish stocks as well as ensuring that best practices are used to avoid by-catch and to look after the health of the ecosystem. The MSC’s evaluation process uses the best science and evidence-based facts available when carrying out their assessments of fisheries.
Infographic: relative importance of food sources for predator marine life in the small pelagic fishery
The target small pelagic species (redbait, blue mackerel and jack mackerel) are shown in scale compared to other prey species in the fishery (sardines, anchovies and lantern fish).
The dotted line represents the total allowable quota available to be fished; approximately 8 % of the biomass of redbait, blue mackerel and jack mackerel.
Sardines, anchovies and lantern fish are a much more important food source for predator species – sharks, tuna, bill fish and seals than the target small pelagic fish.
Seafish Tasmania is committed to using the best technology to make certain we are targeting the correct fish species and that we only catch the amount of fish we can process and freeze.
We are raising the bar on by-catch mitigation. Our fishery uses the very latest in by-catch devices to ensure seals and dolphins can escape from our nets. The by-catch equipment we use has been specifically designed to steer these marine mammals safely out and away from our nets. We use electronic sensors on the mouths of our nets so our winches are constantly adjusted to keep the net mouth at the optimum position to target the species we are licenced to catch. Cameras are installed on our nets to continually monitor our performance and make adjustments to our equipment set-up in real time.
We want to bring the Australian public with us on our fishing journey to assure them we have the world’s best fishing practice in place. We believe the preservation of Australia’s marine ecosystem is paramount and are staunchly committed to ensuring sustainable fishing practices in our seas.