The Australian Marine Conservation Society today expressed grave concern that our overfished seafood species list continues to grow while the Australian Government stalls on action to repair our increasingly damaged fisheries.
Craig Bohm, National Fisheries Campaigner with the Australian Marine Conservation Society said “Australian Governments are simply not doing enough to reel in fishing effort and protect vulnerable species and habitats from the ravages of overfishing”.
Today the Bureau of Rural Sciences released its 2005 Fisheries Status Report (http://www.brs.gov.au/). As expected by conservationists, the list of overfished species has increased from 17 to 24 species. New overfished species include oreos (deepwater dory-like fish), deepwater sharks, flathead, Cascade Plateau Orange Roughy and Yellow-fin tuna in the wider Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Bohm continued “Australia’s oceans are literally saturated with fishing effort. Today there are few places left for marine species to hide. Governments must protect the health and productivity of Australia’s oceans if our fisheries are to be made sustainable in the long term.”
Bohm continued “The most important solutions to overfishing which governments must more rapidly pursue include:
1. Establishing a national network of no-take marine national parks to protect our marine ecosystems from the ravages of overfishing;
2. Controlling damaging fishing practices, like seabed trawling, away from the vulnerable marine species (like sharks) and habitats (like the deep sea – below 500m); and
3. Protecting overfished and threatened marine species from further impact and harm.
Bohm continued “Consumers can be part of the solution by using Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide to make appropriate seafood choices.”
“The Australian Marine Conservation Society has developed Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide which gives consumers practical ways to help combat overfishing. The Guide’s key recommendations, which include avoiding overfished and vulnerable species, are based on the Bureau of Rural Sciences Fisheries Status Reports,” Bohm said.
“By using Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide consumers can avoid overfished species in the market place and send a clear message to governments and the seafood industry that overfishing is not on, will no longer be accepted and must become a shameful legacy of the past,” Bohm concluded.
Craig Bohm on 0427 133 481 or 07 3393 5811
For copies of Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide contact 07 3393 5811