The first topic of the CLG focused on is the sustainability of commercial Australian wild-caught seafood.
The scope of the CLG includes both wild fisheries and aquaculture. However, the elements of sustainability of seafood derived from wild-capture fisheries and aquaculture differ significantly. However, it also introduces points that will be common to both wild-caught and aquaculture seafood. The topic only touches lightly on matters relevant to recreational and indigenous fisheries. The CLG Custodian Group stressed, that recreational and indigenous fishing are also important and all catching sectors were highly interconnected in relation to sustainability.
Definitions of sustainability range from narrow and precise interpretations to broader, less specific definitions. Government definitions of the terms sustainable development, sustainable fishing‘ and sustainable use are helpful in considering the meaning of sustainable seafood. Other institutions in society may not require formal definitions so can be flexible on how they interpret sustainability and more open to meet and address their member‘s interests and corporate mission statements. Stakeholders other than governments have different definitions of seafood sustainability and management, according to their own missions, priorities and campaigns or promotions.
The analysis in this first topic concentrates on ecological components. To date, these factors have been most commonly addressed as determinants of the sustainability status of seafood and a common understanding of these elements is the priority.
Among the environmental and biological components of this first topic, the focus is more on fisheries related factors such as catch levels and fishing methods. There is less emphasis on factors external to fisheries but still critical in their impact, such as pollution, human induced habitat alteration and destruction, and climate change.
Within the scope defined, the group developed Issues Paper 1 (Defining Sustainable Australian Seafood: Wild-Capture Fisheries), and made a public call for feedback on it and a set of structured questions. Based on the Issues Paper and the 31 responses from key environmental NGO’s, other organisations and individuals across the seafood supply chain (e.g. fisheries managers; recreational, traditional and commercial fishers; seafood wholesale and retail suppliers, and consumers), the present document develops draft definitions1 for sustainable seafood for wild capture fisheries. It considers expert opinion and stakeholder views, including areas where there is broad agreement and those where views diverge.
Draft Issues Paper
A draft issues paper was developed for public comment presents a science-based discussion of the biological and environmental elements of sustainable seafood‘ and raises issues to be considered to develop a consensus – a common language. The Issues Paper highlights what determines whether seafood is sustainable or not and the points where views differ. To promote feedback, the Issues Paper is accompanied by a short survey consisting of structured questions and the opportunity for open comments.presents a science-based discussion of the biological and environmental elements of sustainable seafood‘ and raises issues to be considered to develop a consensus – a common language. The Issues Paper highlights what determines whether seafood is sustainable or not and the points where views differ. To promote feedback, the Issues Paper is accompanied by a short survey consisting of structured questions and the opportunity for open comments.
Common Language for Sustainable Wild Caught Seafood
The Common Language Group has now completed the paper titled Common Language for Sustainable Wild Caught Seafood.
This paper, while technical in nature begins to form the basis of a common language around the term sustainability for wild caught seafood. Through the issue paper and responses, survey responses and custodian group meetings it has been identified that there are five ecological and biological elements that help to define sustainable wild caught seafood, these are; retained species, bycatch species, habitats, ecosystem and foodwebs and protected species. The paper defines these elements using both a common language definition and a technical definition. It then identifies a number of components that make up each of the five elements and defines each of these in the same way; with a common language and technical definition.
Feedback and comments are now sought on the paper - closing date by 15 December 2014
Please note the paper has been line numbered to allow for comments to be reference specifically to the lines to which they refer.
All comments should be send to CLG@frdc.com.au by 15 December 2014.
Open Forum Meeting - Defining Australian Sustainable Seafood - Wild Capture Fisheries
The Common Language Group is holding an open forum on the sustainable wild caught seafood paper. The aim of the open forum will be to discuss and seek feedback on the paper.
Date: 21 November 2014
Venue: Doltone house on the Jones Bay Wharf – Sydney
Time: 10am – 12pm (welcome tea and coffee from 9.30 am)