Western Australia pulls a world first with MSC-certified sustainable sea cucumber fishery
WA sea cucumbers are a highly sought-after soft-bodies species, in demand across Asia. Image: WAFIC

Western Australia pulls a world first with MSC-certified sustainable sea cucumber fishery

In another first for West Australian sustainable fisheries, the sea cucumber fishery has reached a milestone by achieving the certification of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) global standard for being well-managed and sustainable.

The certification makes the fishery the only sea cucumber fishery in the world to achieve MSC certification.

Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) Chief Executive Officer, Alex Ogg, said the certification was an important achievement which not only demonstrates the fishery’s investment into sustainability but sets it apart from others in the global marketplace.

‘I would like to congratulate all those involved in securing this certification which is a significant recognition for all their hard work. In a day and age where consumers are wanting to know where their seafood is sourced, MSC certification allows consumers to easily verify sustainability claims. This certification will assist the WA sea cucumber fishery in not only finding new markets but strengthening existing ones,’ he said.

‘In Western Australia we are world-leaders in seafood sustainability – this is an achievement that our government, community and stakeholders should be commemorating. The commercial seafood industry very much understands that in order to protect our oceans, sustainability measures need to be put in place to lead the way in transparency, accountability and environmental stewardship.’

Western Australia’s sea cucumbers are a highly popular and sought-after soft-body species, desirable across Asia. The fishery is managed through input controls including limited entry, maximum number of divers, species-dependent minimum legal-size limits, and gear restrictions.

The sea cucumber becomes the tenth WA fishery to achieve MSC certification. Around 85% by value of WA fisheries are now in the MSC certification programme.