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Inaugural Sustainable Seafood Day

Marine Stewardship Council urges New Zealanders to keep the oceans “Forever Wild” with the inaugural Sustainable Seafood Day

Certified sustainable fisheries in New Zealand are to be celebrated on New Zealand’s first Sustainable Seafood Day, next Monday, May 14.

Hosted by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international NGO aimed at ending unsustainable fishing and keeping oceans healthy and teeming with life, the day aims to raise awareness of importance of sustainable seafood and recognise fisheries certified to the MSC Sustainable Fishing Standard in New Zealand.

“With over half of New Zealand’s total wild caught seafood certified to the MSC standard and 74% of deep water fisheries certified, it is time to celebrate this leadership and commitment to safeguarding the oceans for future generations,” says Anne Gabriel, MSC Oceania Program Director.
The theme for the day “Forever Wild” marks the 20th anniversary since MSC was established by seafood company Unilever and environmental organisation WWF as a science- based and stakeholder driven programme to incentivise global fisheries towards more sustainable practices.

New Zealand hoki was the first whitefish fishery in the world to meet the MSC standard for sustainable fishing in 2001, a process which can take 12-18 months and is independently assessed by a third-party auditor. Since its certification the New Zealand hoki fishery stocks have more than doubled and the fishery now supplies to markets domestically, as well as the UK, Europe, USA and Australia.

The day will be marked in Wellington at an event at Te Papa, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, with the keynote address from the Minister for Fisheries, Hon Stuart Nash, followed by a panel featuring MSC Oceania Program Director, Anne Gabriel, CEO for Sanford Volker Kuntzsch and Dr Matt Dunn, Principal Scientist – Fisheries, NIWA.

The event will bring together seafood industry, environmental organisations as well as government and sustainability leaders from around the country to discuss the future of sustainable seafood in New Zealand.

“Our objective is to create a positive and collaborative dialogue for our oceans moving forward, it is imperative for different sectors to come together and recognise the fact that New Zealand is a global leader in fisheries management, but if we don’t focus our efforts and work together this forward momentum can slip,” notes Gabriel.

There are currently eight MSC certified fisheries operating in New Zealand and over 300 certified fisheries globally, with 28,000 products bearing the MSC blue tick across the world and 76 in New Zealand.
New Zealand albacore tuna troll
New Zealand hake trawl
New Zealand ling trawl and longline fishery
New Zealand southern blue whiting
New Zealand hoki
Ross Sea Toothfish
Talley’s skipjack tuna
New Zealand orange roughy

Consumers can get involved by hosting their own Sustainable Seafood Day by choosing MSC seafood with the blue fish tick of approval found in most grocery stores in the frozen and canned aisles and sharing on social media with #MSCNZ to win a copy of Bart Van Olphen’s award winning cookbook, FishTales with over 100 sustainable seafood recipes from all over the world.

Some fantastic sustainable seafood recipes from New Zealand can be found here:


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