With yet another one of Australia's fisheries about to launch its new certified sustainable seafood status and moves by Sydney chefs to declare the iconic Sydney suburb of Bondi a sustainable seafood area, the issue of the best way to responsibly use seafood continues to be a big one.
Australia's Northern Prawn Fishery is about to officially launch its achievement of certification under the global Marine Stewardship Council program that gives it the right to sport the MSC's blue eco tick for sustainable seafood.
The Northern Prawn Fishery is located off Australia’s northern coast, and extends from the low water mark to the outer edge of the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) in the area between Cape York in Queensland and Cape Londonderry in Western Australia. It includes banana prawns, tiger prawns and endeavour prawns.
The NPF joins a growing group of Australian fisheries that have made the financial investment to become certified under the scheme that now includes the Spencer Gulf king prawn fishery, the WA rock lobster fishery, the Lakes and Coorong fishery (mullet; golden perch, mulloway and mussels), the Heard and McDonald Islands toothfish fishery and the Macquarie Island toothfish fishery.
This week has also seen the news of the launch of a new group backed by Sydney chefs that's aiming to ensure the six tonnes of seafood sold through the various seafood eateries at Bondi can be guaranteed sustainable.
The idea is the brainchild of Sandra Marshall of the non profit group Blue Starfish who said she wants make Bondi a 'mecca' for sustainable fish.
"So people know exactly what there are getting when they come here," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
One of the challenges the group wants to tackle is how to make the right choices of seafood to use when there is such a range of opinion about what's sustainable and what's not.
It's a challenge that's set to become easier in Australia though, with two new online tools planned for launch in December.
Australia's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is now putting the final touches to its comprehensive new Seafood Stock Status Report that's been developed to be a resource that will continually update the current situation with Australian seafood species.
The online resource is aimed at helping both chefs and consumers to fight their way through the murky waters of the seafood sustainability debate.
As well the Marine Stewardship Council in Australia is preparing to unveil a new tool aimed at helping chefs who want to make more sustainable seafood choices.
MSC's Charlotte Connell said the new online tool would be similiar to the the UK's Good Catch guide.
"It won't be being prescriptive in that 'this is sustainable' and 'this isn't' but it will be saying 'these are the different choices' or 'these are the alternatives you can use,'" she said.
"There are so many different ways that chefs can be sustainable in the way they use seafood."