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Senate Seafood Labelling recommendations a Christmas present for Tasmanian seafood industry

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 19 Dec 2014

The Greens welcome this first step towards adequate labelling of seafood that would ultimately be beneficial to consumers, the local fishing industry, the marine environment and the national economy says the Fisheries spokesperson for the Greens, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

Senator Whish-Wilson said “The message from the Seafood Labelling Senate Inquiry to the Tasmanian seafood industry is ‘Merry Christmas’.

“When the Northern Territory introduced seafood labelling laws, the value of the various sectors of the Northern Territory seafood industry grew four to eight-fold.

“The Northern Territory labelling laws has allowed local producers to better compete with imported lower-quality seafood and therefore reinvest in their businesses and invest in sustainability measures.

“With the right information, consumers can have greater confidence in the seafood they are buying, and make purchasing decisions that don’t impact on the health of our oceans.

“The Inquiry recommendations are a platform which we can build on in the future, as we move towards a complete and  holistic approach to seafood labelling in Australia.

“Country-of-origin labelling is a good start, but if we don’t take further steps to better care for the health of the oceans, in the long-term, no one will be a winner.

“On the evidence presented at the Inquiry, the Greens recommend a staged approach that would go beyond country-of-origin labelling by requiring mandatory fish naming standards, and sustainability and provenance labelling.

“The Inquiries’ recommendations, whilst a step in the right direction, could still go further to achieving better ocean sustainability outcomes, which are long-term requirements for both the marketplace and marine stewardship.

“I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this Inquiry, and I applaud the efforts of advocates who have ensured that Australians are now more engaged than ever on the need for seafood labelling.

“In 2015, the Greens will be working with their allies to introduce a Bill into Parliament that will back change for consumers and our marine environment,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

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