The website farmonline.com.au ran a story on February 22, 2019 entitled, Fishmongering and fearmongering in Australia’s modern seafood market.   Interestingly, this article uses Pioneer Seafood as an example of the benefits of allowing fishermen to sell directly to public.

It also discusses the false impression that fishing is not sustainable when properly managed.

Some selected highlights from the article include:

Mr Davies’ report revealed that one area affecting the industry’s social license to operate is the growing disconnect between perception and reality of the seafood industry, particularly regarding the issue of fish stocks and overfishing.

“The seafood industry can only be economically sustainable if it is environmentally sustainable. This is good news for both consumers and the environment. As an industry we must work together to better communicate that we are world leaders when it comes to the responsible and sustainable management of the renewable resource that is fish,” he said.

Mr Davies also examined the impact of consumer disconnect on fishers around the world, with some saying they felt ‘invisible’ or that there was limited appreciation or understanding of their efforts to sustainably harvest and produce high quality seafood for the community.

“In the Port of San Francisco, I met a fisherman, Giuseppi Pennisi, whose family had been operating Pioneer Seafoods in the area for more than a century,’ he said.

“The Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. Despite attracting up to 14 million visitors each year, until recently very few of those visitors would ever meet an actual fisher at the wharf due to the result of a 20-year ban on the sale of fish direct to the public.

“Pioneer Seafoods managed to overturn the moratorium and gain approval to sell fish to the public. The ability to do this was partly linked to Mr Pennisi’s transition to more environmentally friendly methods, enhanced operational transparency and improved public perception.

“Selling fish directly from his back deck in 2017, Mr Pennisi sold a modest 160 kilograms in his first weekend of trading. By his third weekend of trading, he sold more than 4,500 kilograms at three to four times his normal market rate to happy, returning customers who were motivated by a desire to know exactly where their fish was coming from.”

The report outlines the importance of reconnecting producers and consumers, and why access to fishers, ports and the fish they harvest should be encouraged.

“At a time when transparency and supply chain traceability are so important to consumers, we need to reconnect customers with fishers. We need to give children the opportunity to see and learn about fishers, not just eat frozen fish fingers,” he said.

“We have a distinct opportunity to provide sustainable, socially responsible and ethically produced premium seafood to the market. It’s critical that we work together to tell the real story behind the decades old, highly effective management of our seafood resources and the wonderful producers who make it happen.”

You can read the full article at: https://www.farmonline.com.au/story/5918644/fishmongering-and-fearmongering-in-australias-modern-seafood-market/