Supermarkets to source sustainable fish

AUSTRALIA’S largest supermarket chains have announced they are taking steps to provide fish sourced from sustainable fisheries.

Woolworths is working with the London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to introduce two new lines of canned tuna and salmon carrying the MSC bluetick of approval, and to delist orange roughy and yellowfin tuna.

The company said it was undertaking an assessment with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation of its wild-caught fish to identify the top four species which are available in sustainable supply.

Coles has also undertaken a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to review fresh seafood and source sustainable fish for its supermarkets.

On this development, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported Greenpeace spokeswoman, Dr Cat Dorey as saying it was exciting to see supermarkets move towards a sustainable policy. She said the relationship with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership – a non-government organisation – gave the move credibility but she was more sceptical of the arrangement with MSC.

”When it comes to MSC we have quite a lot of concern. We don’t think their standards are strong enough,” Dr Dorey said.

Doubts have been raised at times about MSC’s certification process and whether it is compromised by commercial concerns.

A spokesman for MSC, Patrick Caleo, said companies were slower to adopt sustainable products – ”it may be because the issues associated with marine environment aren’t so often talked about so often here in Australia.”

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