Australians call for removal of unsustainable seafood

Decision shy Aussies want unsustainable seafood removed from shelves and menus (78%) to help make choosing the right fish dish easier. Research released today by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) reveals the importance and desire for education on the labelling of sustainable seafood.

Despite being a nation of seafood lovers and home to some of the best seafood in the world, a quarter of Australians are consuming less than five years ago. This increased to 4 in 10 among 18-24-year olds**. As a more environmentally conscious population than ever before, it’s no surprise that the primary reason for this dip is not just price perception, but concern for declining fish populations and the effects of fishing on the ocean.

As a proud society of seafood aficionados, ensuring plentiful supplies for future generations is a crucial concern. Over three-quarters of seafood consumers (78%) say that we need to protect fish so our children and grandchildren can enjoy this much-loved Aussie staple.

Many are already using their purchase power to conserve our fish stocks with more than one-fifth saying they have switched to a brand or product that says it helps protect the oceans or fish, and another 33 per cent of people say they would take the plunge in the future.

“Concern for our ocean is driving Australians to ‘vote with their forks’ for sustainable seafood. Sales in Australia of sustainable seafood with the MSC’s blue fish tick label have more than doubled in the last five years thanks to the collective action of seafood consumers, retailers, brands, scientists, the fishing industry and celebrity chefs,”  said Anne Gabriel, program director, Oceania and Singapore at the Marine Stewardship Council.

“As consumers, we are bombarded with so many mixed messages about what to buy and what not to buy. When it comes to seafood, the science-based blue fish tick label is being trusted more and more as a simple and empowering way to recognise and reward sustainable fishing efforts globally. Those concerned about climate change can be assured that sustainable seafood is a healthy, low carbon animal protein. You can find the blue fish tick across a wide range of price points to suit every budget, on canned, frozen and fresh fish.”

With 70 per cent agreeing supermarkets and brands claims need to be independently labelled, Rebecca Eichfeld, buying director for seafood at ALDI Australia, aligned with the MSC around the world, says having sustainably sourced seafood on shelves and in freezer cabinets is vitally important.

“We work with the Marine Stewardship Council to empower our customers to choose seafood which is not only delicious and healthy, but good for our oceans too.

“Well-managed and sustainable fishing is essential for the future health of our marine ecosystems. Independent certifications and labels such as the blue fish tick ensure we can enjoy seafood now and be confident there’ll be plenty more to enjoy in the future. ALDI is proud to offer the largest range of own brand seafood products carrying the MSC blue fish tick of any Australian supermarket, and to be recognised as Mid-Sized Retailer of the Year by the MSC’s Sustainable Seafood Awards Australia 2020.”

The MSC, who commissioned the research, is an independent and international not-for-profit which tackles overfishing to ensure we have seafood forever by driving the fishing and seafood industry towards sustainability. It sets globally recognised, science-based standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability using its world-renowned MSC blue fish tick label.

Consumers can feel confident in their choices by purchasing seafood with the MSC blue fish tick, which supports and rewards sustainable fisheries and helps put an end to overfishing.