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Joint Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Government Minister for Fisheries and Forestry
Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

1 December 2004

Local fish pass eco test


Australians can enjoy local seafood safe in the knowledge that it has come from some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world, the Australian Government Minister for Fisheries, Senator Ian Macdonald, and Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

"Australia's Commonwealth fisheries have passed the Government's test of sustainable management with flying colours," Senator Macdonald said.

"In 2000 the Australian Government implemented a stringent assessment process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to ensure that our seafood is sourced from sustainably managed fisheries.

"Four years on and the results speak for themselves," Senator Macdonald said. "Of the nine Commonwealth fisheries assessed so far, five have obtained the highest ranking and will be exempt from export restrictions for five years.

"Four have been assessed as having a sustainable impact on the structure, productivity, function and biological diversity of the ecosystem but, as Wildlife Trade Operations, each will be subject to another review in three years. The nine assessed fisheries represent approximately 80 per cent ($253 million) of the value of Commonwealth fisheries.

Senator Campbell said the process had driven improvements in fisheries management Australia wide, including clear recovery strategies for overfished species."

"The strategic assessment process has opened up fisheries management to public scrutiny as never before, and we congratulate the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian fishing industry on these outstanding results," he said.

Fisheries assessed include the Heard and McDonald Islands Fisheries, Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, Northern Prawn Fishery, Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (incorporating the South East Trawl, Gillnet Hook and Trap and Great Australian Bight Trawl Fisheries), Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery, Southern Squid Jig Fishery, Southern and Western Tuna Fishery, Coral Sea Fishery and Western Trawl Fisheries.

Commonwealth of Australia