Why We Are Proud to Support Environmental Sustainability in the Fishing Industry
The ocean covers a large portion of the earth’s surface – over 70%, and much life on earth is dependent on it. It is home to a vast array of plant and animal species, and it is the life support of all living beings. For this reason, caring for our oceans is vital, which is why we at Sea Harvest are so adamant about environmental sustainability within the fishing industry. Seafood is a major source of food for human beings, but irresponsible fishing has devastating impacts. According to recent statistics, 34,2% of global fisheries have fished beyond sustainable limits, and the size of marine populations has declined by 49% between 1970 and 2012. Overfishing and illegal fisheries cause not only the extinction of marine species and immense damage to ecosystems but are harmful to communities reliant on seafood too.
What Environmental Sustainability in the Fishing Industry Means
As a leading, global agri-business, we at the Sea Harvest Group integrate business practices that prioritise sustainability to minimise the environmental impact of overfishing. Our commitment is towards protecting and conserving the natural resources within our oceans for the prosperity of our generation and those to come. In 2004, our offshore hake fishery was the first in the world to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The MSC works closely with fisheries and scientists to ensure environmental sustainability in the fishing industry. Products that feature the blue MSC label are indicators of fisheries that prioritise the well-being of our oceans. We have retained this MSC certification for over 15 years, and our Australian Shark Bay prawns also proudly feature the label.
Sea Harvest is also a member of the Responsible Fisheries Alliance (RFA), which means that we aim to manage the impact that our fishing operations have on the environment. The RFA provides a collaborative forum that allows environmental NGOs and the fishing industry to work together to secure the health of our local marine ecosystems through supporting projects that aim to do this. Consumer awareness is driving the demand for sustainability and traceable seafood, which currently outstrips supply. The RFA, therefore, helps the fishing industry to respond to these demands proactively in an ever-growing, competitive market. The RFA has, to date, been successful in:
- Reducing seabird mortalities due to bird-scaring devices.
- Improved bycatch management.
- Improved management of fisheries.
- Skills development for fishers on sustainable fishing.
Central to our ethos as a leading Group within the fishing industry is the desire for sustainability. Throughout all our operations, we aim to act ethically and protect the environment while driving meaningful community participation. From clean-ups on beaches and upcycling campaigns, to the education of our surrounding communities at large, we hope to benefit our environment and the people in it. By taking steps towards transparent accountability and limiting our impact on the environment, we can provide our valued consumers with delicious, fresh, sustainably sourced seafood.
To find out more about our operations and the practices we have in place to protect our oceans, be sure to contact us here.