Woolworths today announces a sustainable fish sourcing strategy, which aims to empower customers to make more sustainable fish choices.

With Sustainable Seafood Day on Friday 18th March, 2011 and with global consumption of fish hitting a record high – reaching an average of 17kg per person – Woolworths is announcing:

1. MSC certified canned Salmon and Tuna

Woolworths has introduced Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified canned Salmon, and will introduce MSC certified canned Albacore Tuna this April, into its Select range.

Woolworths Director of Supermarkets, Greg Foran says, “We want to assist customers in making more informed and sustainable fish choices. We are enabling this by providing options, at an accessible price point.”

Patrick Caleo of the MSC says, “It’s great to see Woolworths playing a key role in supporting sustainable fishing. This is a big step and we are extremely pleased to be working with Australia’s largest supermarket chain to help transform the seafood market to make it more sustainable. By introducing MSC certified canned Salmon and Albacore Tuna, Woolworths are providing consumers with the tools to make more informed choices, and are making a real commitment to helping safeguard fish stocks for future generations.”

2. Fresh wild-caught fish

Following advice from fisheries experts, Woolworths has delisted fresh Yellowfin Tuna and Orange Roughy from all Woolworths’ stores, to ease pressure on the species.

Woolworths is also currently undertaking an assessment with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership of its wild-caught fish to identify which are available in sustainable supply. The assessment will assist in identifying fisheries that need improvement in their sustainability practices.

Woolworths will offer funding incentives under its Fresh Food Farming sustainable food program to a select number of fisheries in its supply chain to conduct MSC pre-assessments and develop improvement plans for more sustainable practices leading to MSC certification.

“By supporting fisheries through the MSC pre-assessment process, and any required fisheries improvements, Woolworths is taking a strong leadership role, and will be working in partnership with the fishing industry to contribute to real improvements on the ground. As a direct result of their support, select fisheries that may not have been able to meet the cost of the MSC pre-assessment can now do so,” Caleo says.