The Gippsland Lakes Black Bream Fishery recently became the latest Victorian fishery to obtain Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) third party sustainability assessment under its Sustainable Australian Seafood Assessment Program (SASAP).
The Lakes seafood fisheries are amongst the oldest in Australia, existing for over 175 years, with some families harvesting seafood across six generations. The fishery contributes substantially to the local economy and provides secure employment for many of the region’s population.
Operating from small boats, professional fishers in the Gippsland Lakes use mesh nets and haul seines to harvest black bream. The combination of specialised gear, slow hauling and hand sorting minimises impacts to habitats and reduces by-catch.
Further demonstrating its environmental stewardship, members of the Gippsland Lakes Fishery have signed on to an Environmental Management System (EMS), developed in conjunction with Victorian Bay and Inlet Fisheries. The EMS is currently undergoing a review.
The EMS is an important policy document that educates the community of the fishery’s activities and promotes its importance in supplying sustainable, healthy, locally caught fresh seafood to the Victorian community.
Gippsland Lakes Bream Fishery joins an increasing list of Victorian seafood fisheries that have received sustainability assessments from ACF.