On the opening morning of the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop fishery (BSCZSF) 2022 scallop season, the fishery was awarded Marine Stewardship Council certification for its sustainable fisheries practices and management.
A team of independent auditors led a 12-month assessment of the fishery against the MSC Fisheries Standard, a globally recognised benchmark for sustainable fishing.
Bass Strait scallops are caught out of the Commonwealth managed fishery, the largest scallop fishery by area in the Bass Strait.
‘By having the MSC blue fish tick, the Bass Strait Scallop Industry Association demonstrates that their harvesting of the resource supports good fisheries management practices, which helps to ensure fish stocks and habitats are healthy, and fishing community livelihoods are secure well into the future,’ said Renee Pearce, Executive Officer of the Bass Strait Scallop Industry Association.
The ever-popular Bass Strait scallop, with the majority of catch landed in Lakes Entrance, Victoria have a distinctive vibrant orange roe and is a classic on Australian menus.
‘Scallops are a staple on dinner plates, especially in the southern states, some arguing it’s not a real scallop unless it has the orange roe,’ Renee Pearce said. ‘You can’t go past a seaside bakery without stopping in for a scallop pie, it’s a tradition we are lucky to have. They are tasty and sustainable.’
The certification verifies that the fishery is harvesting from scallop populations that are healthy and productive. The certification also shows that the fishery is working to minimise its impact on the marine environment, and that it has strong management systems in place. Bass Strait scallops are now eligible to carry the MSC blue fish tick label, which easily identifies that seafood has been caught or harvested sustainably.
The Bass Strait (Central Zone) Scallop season opened on 12th July 2022 and continues until 31st December. With a 4000-tonne catch allocated, a healthy amount of scallops will be available in fishmongers around the states and territories. The fishery supports local jobs and food security.
‘Congratulations to the Bass Strait Scallop Industry Association for achieving certification to the MSC Standard,’ commented Matt Watson, MSC Senior Fisheries Manager, Asia-Pacific.
‘The Bass Strait scallop fishery is really significant addition to the MSC program, as it is such an important source of fresh Aussie scallops for chefs, restaurants, fishmongers and seafood lovers. It’s great to see their strong commitment to sustainable fishing.’