This environment is home to some of the world’s finest seafood including: premium quality western rock lobster; wild-caught prawns and scallops; abalone from temperate waters; and tropical and temperate water finfish.
Western Australia’s delicious seafood makes its way to the world’s best restaurants, including those in the State.
Western Australia also produces the globally renowned South Sea pearls.
Commercial and recreational fishing contributes about A$1.5 billion to the State’s economy (Gross State Product) each year and production from commercial fisheries and aquaculture is valued at A$490 million.
More than 700,000 people enjoy recreational fishing in Western Australia.
The Department of Fisheries Western Australia is responsible for conserving, sustainably developing and sharing the use of the State’s aquatic resources and their ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations.
Ecologically Sustainable Development is a key focus and involves a reporting process that continually ensures fish stocks are in a healthy condition, while considering the social and economic values of fisheries.
This highlights the strong and co-operative management by the Department and the State’s fishing industry. In addition, all wild-harvest fisheries must be assessed and certified under the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 before their product can be exported.
Aquaculture production (excluding South Sea pearls) has nearly doubled in Western Australia since 2007 and is now worth about A$12.5 million to the State’s economy. Successful businesses include a barramundi farm in the remote Kimberley sending fish to markets around Australia, where they command a premium price. More recently the production of cultured abalone in land-based and marine farms has been expanding rapidly.
The Western Australia Government is supporting development of the aquaculture industry through initiatives such as aquaculture development zones to enable large-scale commercial aquaculture projects to start up with a minimum of delay.
To build on the Department's strong record in fisheries management, it has a program to encourage fisheries to gain independent third-party certification for sustainability. All commercial fisheries in WA will be given the opportunity to achieve certification through the highly-regarded London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
In 2000, Western Australia’s western rock lobster fishery was the first in the world to attain MSC certification, and was re-certified to the MSC standard for the second time in 2012.
And in a world-first collaboration, the commercial and recreational sectors that share a fishery – Western Australia’s Peel-Harvey Estuary blue swimmer crab fishery – are undergoing full MSC assessment.
Seafood buyers from around the globe can be assured that Western Australian seafood comes not only from the clean ocean waters off Western Australia but from fisheries that are well managed today, and will continue to be well managed tomorrow.
For more information, visit:
Department of Fisheries Western Australia >
Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 >
Marine Stewardship Council – certified sustainable seafood >
Western Australian Fishing Industry Council >