Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has urged Australians to make their vote count at Saturday’s Federal Election by knowing how the major parties intend to keep great, sustainable local seafood on the table for all Australians to enjoy.
“Our industry puts more than one billion meals on the table every year and we do that by responsibly growing and harvesting seafood. This election, we are asking the community to consider the important role of our industry and how the different political parties plan to work with us to ensure we can keep putting Aussie seafood on the table for years to come,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“Both the Coalition and Labor have committed to working with us to help secure our future. This includes working with recreational and indigenous fishers. We agree that effectively managing fisheries requires a more collaborative approach.
“Ongoing uncertainties around resource access have resulted in very high levels of psychological stress in our industry and poor mental health.
“We are pleased that both the Coalition and Labor have recognised the need for immediate assistance to help destigmatise issues of mental health and help our fishers access mental health assistance.
“However, one of the great disappointments is Labor’s confirmation they will implement the 2012 Commonwealth Marine Park Management Plans if elected.
“The Management Plans that are in place represent a balanced response to the need for conservation, social and economic outcomes. The current plans mean people can go fishing – whether that is for recreation or to harvest fish for the broader community – knowing the environment is protected.
“We understand community concerns about sustainability and as an industry we have been and will continue to work hard to meet and demonstrate our commitment to fish responsibly.
“We are disappointed at the apparent lack of support from the major parties for our requests for assistance to respond to community concerns, like maritime safety, and to developing an ongoing accountability and communication process with the community.
“The Australian Greens’ commitment to improved labelling of Australian seafood is pleasing to see. With 70% of the seafood consumed in this country imported, we believe people have a right to know whether the seafood they are eating is Aussie or not.
“Irrespective of the Election outcome, we will continue working to ensure seafood issues remain on the political agenda. We look forward to working with governments, the community and industry to establish a strong and productive path forward.”